Jose Mourinho called 'boring bully' over Arsene Wenger comments

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is a "bully" engaging in "boring" mind games, former Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson has said.

On Friday, Mourinho responded to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger's claims that managers were playing down their Premier League chances because they were "afraid to fail" by calling the Frenchman "a specialist in failure".

Bob Wilson

Bob Wilson made 308 appearances for Arsenal between 1963 and 1974, before becoming the club's goalkeeping coach and fronting sports programmes for the BBC and ITV

"I think at its best it's disrespectful, at its worst despicable," former Gunners player and coach Wilson told BBC Radio 5 live. "I find him boring in the extreme."

"I think it's personal," continued Wilson, who played more than 300 times for Arsenal and twice for Scotland.

"He is a hugely talented, amazing manager but a self-publicist and it's mainly inaccurate.

"To say West Ham play 19th-Century football, to give [Manchester City boss] Manuel Pellegrini the abuse he has: this is a weekend when we honour a gent - Tom Finney - I don't like bullies."

Mourinho has repeatedly played down his side's title chances, despite their position at the top of the league, and has likened the Blues to a "little horse", not yet ready to be title challengers.

Wenger, who last won a trophy with Arsenal in 2005, said that in ruling Chelsea out of the race, Mourinho was setting up a position from which he could not fail.

Mourinho said: "If he is right and I am afraid of failure it is because I didn't fail many times. Eight years without silverware, that's failure."

Wilson, an ever present in Arsenal's double winning side of 1970-71, says Wenger has "opened eyes and ears" during 17 and a half years in England and is frustrated by Mourinho's "dismissive" comments.

Wenger on Mourinho

"He's out of order, disconnected with reality and disrespectful. When you give success to stupid people, it makes them more stupid sometimes." November 2005, after Mourinho called Wenger a "voyeur"

"I know we live in a world where we have only winners and losers, but once a sport encourages teams who refuse to take the initiative, the sport is in danger." August 2005, talking about Chelsea's tactics

"It's not the first time he has singled Arsene out," Wilson, 72, told the Sportsweek programme. "A few years ago he called him a voyeur, which is a disgusting claim - albeit thankfully with a belated apology.

"I like people who have within them some humility as well. [Former Liverpool manager] Bill Shankly was in his day, like Jose Mourinho. He took every opportunity to psyche you out. He would get at you, but in a lovely, sort of competitive way."

Pellegrini, 60, responded to Mourinho's theory that Manchester City are the "big horse" in the title race by highlighting Chelsea's recent spending in the transfer window.

But Mourinho used his next news conference to clarify figures and question the maths used by the City boss.

City beat Chelsea in the FA Cup fifth round on Saturday and Lord Coe, who was also on Sportsweek, defended Mourinho's recent exchanges with managers.

"All he's doing is answering the questions that he gets asked," said Lord Coe, a Chelsea supporter. "I'm not sure these are mind games, I know they're not mind games.

"He's answering the questions he's being asked and he's actually doing it with honesty."

Arsenal - second in the table - host Liverpool in the FA Cup on Sunday and play Chelsea in the Premier League on 22 March.