Last Update 12:43
Thursday, 16 September 2021

Wenger tries to stay calm as Arsenal implode

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was facing the biggest crisis of career after Sunday’s 8-2 mauling by Manchester United but the Frenchman vowed not to panic on the field with fans questioning his future for the first time

Reuters, Sunday 28 Aug 2011
Arsene Wenger

Wenger took over in 1996 and revolutionised Arsenal’s style of play, turning the North London side from defensive long-ball merchants to one of Europe’s most exciting outfits, but his attacking philosophy has backfired badly this season.

Sunday’s humiliation against one of their main rivals was the first time Arsenal have conceded eight in a top-flight match and followed the departures of top players Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri with quality replacements nowhere to be seen.

Without a win from the first three games of the league season after a 2-0 loss at home to fellow title hopefuls Liverpool last weekend, the midweek victory over Udinese to secure Champions League football was a small crumb of comfort.

“No not at all,” Wenger told Sky Sports when asked if he was considering his position.

“What is to turn around? We played three games in the season.”

His injury and suspension-ravaged side were ripped apart at Old Trafford, with Wayne Rooney bagging a hat-trick to reach 152 United goals and Ashley Young grabbing a superb brace.

Even when the likes of Gervinho and Thomas Vermaelen return for Arsenal, Wenger is still well short of quality personnel with just three days left in the transfer window.

A move for Monaco’s South Korea striker Park Chu-Young is almost done and Bolton Wanderers defender Gary Cahill is a target but Wenger risked the wrath of frustrated fans by implying big buys might not be arriving.

“I know that in England when you lose a game signings are always the solution,” he said. “We had eight players out today.”

Arsenal supporters are not amused and golfer Ian Poulter told Twitter: “You owe your fans an explanation & your players an apology for humiliating them. Rebuild or get out.”

It was only the sixth time a team has scored eight goals in a Premier League match.

“You feel always humiliated when you concede eight goals,” added Wenger, who won the Premier League in 1998, 2002 and 2004.

“It was a terrible day for us. Man United had class but every single shot in the first half went in.”

United boss Alex Ferguson has had many run-ins with Wenger down the years but felt sorry for his counterpart.

“It is (a shock) because when you play Arsenal you expect a difficult game. If you look at Arsenal the team is weakened,” he said.

“I think it is unfair to criticise him (given) the job he has done for Arsenal and the philosophy he has.”

Short link:



© 2010 Ahram Online.