Tuesday 17 October 2017

Arsene Wenger hits back at Gary Neville's 'arrogance' accusations

Arsene Wenger, Manager of Arsenal
Arsene Wenger, Manager of Arsenal
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has denied accusations from Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville that he is arrogant but admitted everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

Speaking on Sky Sports during coverage of the Gunners 0-0 draw with Liverpool last night, Neville criticised Wenger for recently building teams that appeared to lack the power of his sides that won three Premier League titles ­between 1998 and 2004.

“Arsène Wenger’s job is absolutely amazing but I just cannot get my head around why he would not sign players of power to assist these talented players that you’ve got to enable them to win the league,” Neville said.

“It is the one big, if you like black mark, against Arsène Wenger in these last 10 years – why he hasn’t identified an issue with these types of players because they cannot win the league with those types of players. It can’t happen.

“To me it’s arrogance. I think it’s arrogance. I really do. To think that you are not going to adapt your team, to change to impact on the other teams that you’re playing against and their strengths.”

Thierry Henry, the former Arsenal captain, said that a change had occurred when Wenger attempted to build his team around Cesc Fabregas.

According to Henry, it is about “belief” rather than arrogance. “It is either naive, or arrogance,” responded Neville. “Because they keep losing this way. Belief? It is misheld belief.”

Wenger later conceded that his team’s start to the season was well below his expectations but rejected the wider criticisms.“The sharpness is missing a bit,” he said. “I would like to give credit to Liverpool as well. We still miss the spontaneous attitude to finish well what we start. We have started very average, I must concede, with four points after two home games.

“Look, I don’t know what that has to do with arrogance. You find all kind of attributes for me since I’ve been here. I try just to do my job well for 20 years. I leave judgment to everybody else, the assessment of the quality of my work.

“Everybody has his opinion and is entitled to that opinion. I could prove to you that it’s not necessarily right, but let’s not go into that debate. When you don’t win, you’re wrong and people find reasons. Are they good reasons? I have enough experience to know when it’s right and when it’s wrong.”

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