Jose Mourinho hit back at Arsenal’s ridicule of Tottenham’s defeat at Sheffield United on social media, saying “you only enjoy the problems of others when you are also in trouble”.
Spurs’ 3-1 loss at Bramall Lane on Thursday came days after Arsenal had beaten Sheffield United 2-1 to reach the FA Cup semi-finals.
The Gunners poked fun at their north London rivals on Facebook when they posted highlights of that win with the caption: “It’s not easy beating Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.”
A run of three straight league wins has taken Arsenal four points clear of Tottenham, who face Everton on Monday.
The two sides meet in a north London derby behind closed doors on Sunday, July 12, and Mourinho is hoping to take revenge on the field.
“I think if they were top of the league or fighting for top four in a really good moment they wouldn’t enjoy the problems of others. You only enjoy the problems of others when you are also in trouble,” said Mourinho.
“In the end it says more about them. They don’t have much to celebrate, they have to get every opportunity to do it. They are in a very similar situation to us in the table.
“I don’t like to connect the club with some post or tweet. Maybe I am wrong, maybe I am right, but the person that did it probably did by themselves. I don’t believe it was Arteta that posted, I don’t believe it was (Granit) Xhaka or another captain that did it. It was probably some guy that was at home for three months working from home. No problem at home, but we will be waiting for them.”
Both north London rivals have a mountain to climb to force themselves into the top four or even claim a return to the Champions League via a fifth-placed finish should Manchester City’s two-season ban from European competition be upheld on appeal.
Spurs have finished above Arsenal in the table for the past three seasons after a 22-year run without doing so.
Mourinho says that finishing above the Gunners would be nice, but should not be Tottenham’s main aim.
“To be the champion of north London means nothing for me because I think you have to be much bigger than that and have much more ambitions than that,” he said.
“But I always look to the rivals of my clubs with different eyes. As you know I have been in so many big clubs with so many special rivals so I don’t hide that Arsenal in this moment is a very special rival. Yes, I would like to finish in a better position in the table than them. But again I want my team to be bigger than that, I want my club to feel bigger than that.”