Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that he is not surprised by the criticism he and his players are receiving, after their 3-2 loss to Manchester United last Sunday.
The Gunners capitulated at Old Trafford, having gone into the game as favourites. A quick-fire double from Marcus Rashford and a third from Ander Herrera confirmed that despite Danny Welbeck and Mesut Ozil’s goals, the home side would take all three points.
After the game, the likes of Ian Wright, Alan Shearer and Graeme Souness all criticised Arsenal for their ‘naive’ performance, which saw them come undone against Louis van Gaal’s out-of-form side.
Wenger, however, admitted that he is not worried about what the pundits had to say, and, as reported by the club’s official website, called for supporters and journalists to ‘not go overboard’.
I’m never surprised by the criticism that comes – that’s part of the media today.
Part of the opinion is always a bit excessive and emotional, but we have to deal with that and I don’t complain about it.
Yes, that’s what we want to do [and use criticism as motivation]. We want to transform the negatives into positives around us and create even more solidarity.
Let’s not go overboard, we do not play to be relegated. We are playing to fight for the title. That’s why we have to put criticism in the right place. After 20 years I’m used to it.
We have built this club, and it has been built before me, with values. What we try to do is respect these values and when we are disappointed we need to show these values and clarity to fight together.
What you want from your fans is to fight together until the last game of the season. What we have learnt from the league is that it is very tight, that everybody can drop points, and the teams – and the fans – who can show togetherness and solidarity until the end, might come out of it in a positive way.
That’s what we want, to fight together until the last game of the season and not give up when you have a bad game or a bad result. That’s what fans and players and teams and clubs are about.
Arsenal face Swansea on Wednesday evening and go into the game no fewer than five points behind current league leaders Leicester City.