Mourinho certainly does not hate Arsenal.

The Real Madrid manager has admitted that he sees something bright in the current group that Arsene Wenger is guiding, despite the exits of Alex Song and Robin van Persie in the summer.

Indeed, the Gunners have made a fairly impressive start to season, despite winning two and drawing three so far in the Premier League. The latest of those draws came at the Etihad stadium where most opponents have failed to leave with a result in the past two years.

Sunday’s encouraging performance and the solidarity that Wenger’s men have shown thus far is what has drawn praise from even the man who once managed Chelsea.

“I think Arsenal is coming again. I like this Arsenal team” he said “I know they’ve lost some players but I like the way Arsene is building this team and I think they can be a positive surprise (in the title race)”

Due to his time in England as Chelsea boss where he had several feisty clashes with Wenger’s side, Mourinho’s compliments for the Gunners might come as some surprise. But if you ever thought the Portuguese man is anything near anti-Arsenal, you may be in for a shocker.

Mourinho actually claims that the negative encounters he once had with the Gunners was only due to a competitive relationship which could not be avoided between two London teams who wrestled for glory.

“I am not critical (of Arsenal in the past). When you are in the same championship and your teams are rivals in the same City and you play local derbies and cup finals, it is normal that you will have a little bit of a rivalry. But the respect was always there.” he said

“I like this team more than the one from previous seasons despite losing a very good player like Van Persie”

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