Arsène Wenger has dismissed José Mourinho as "silly and disrespectful" after the Chelsea manager taunted him as a "specialist in failure" for not winning any trophies since 2005.
Mourinho seems intent on escalating a squabble between the pair in a bid to get under Wenger's skin as the Premier League title race reaches its climax but the Arsenal manager is adamant that such manoeuvres are beneath him.
He projected the weary disdain of the teacher of a troublesome pupil as he responded to the Portuguese's latest barbs by saying: "I am embarrassed for him. Honestly. I didn't speak about him at all in my press conference and I have no more to say. Let's focus on things that are worth it, on football. I am more disappointed for Chelsea than for me. I don't want to get into those silly disrespectful remarks."
Mourinho apparently believes that Wenger instigated the feud by saying that managers of top clubs who underplay their chances of winning the Premier League title, as Mourinho has done, suffer from a fear of failure.
But Wenger insists he is not too concerned about engaging in a war of words. When pressed further to react to his Chelsea counterpart's claims, he said: "I am not interested in the subject at all. If you are interested and you have nothing better to do in your life you are free to do it.
"Honestly, I cannot force my interest in things that are not interesting for me. I love football. I am sorry to disappoint you. What is interesting for me is what happens on the pitch."
Wenger does not expect Mourinho to abstain from making further comments. "There is no final word in that, unfortunately."