Saturday 1 October 2016

Ian Wright blames Arsene Wenger for Arsenal having 'naughty kids'

Tom Sheen

Published 29/02/2016 | 20:29

Ian Wright is sick of hearing Arsene Wenger defends his player's effort
Ian Wright is sick of hearing Arsene Wenger defends his player's effort

Arsenal legend Ian Wright has compared Arsene Wenger to a parent who lets his kids get away with doing "naughty stuff all the time" after the side's demoralising defeat to Manchester United on Sunday.

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The Gunners lost ground in the title race to Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford despite Louis van Gaal's team missing 16 players through injury.

Teenage striker Marcus Rashford, 18, scored twice and added an assist on his Premier League debut, Michael Carrick started at centre-back and another debut was also handed to Timothy Fosu-Mensah.

Arsenal finished the game with 61 per cent possession but were outworked by the makeshift home side. Wenger had said that he "could not question our desire or commitment at all".

Speaking on Match of the Day 2, Wright, who scored 185 goals for the club, was highly critical of Wenger's words and the performance of the players.

"To hear [Wenger] saying that it's like... I don't know, it's like when you've got naughty kids come round your house," said Wright.

"If you let them get away with continuously doing naughty stuff, then they're going to keep doing it. Him saying stuff like this just makes them think 'oh, it's ok'.

"They should be going back on the coach and thinking 'we had an opportunity today'. It didn't happen, they should've taken that opportunity."

Fellow pundit Alan Shearer then said: "I wouldn't like to come round your house."

To which Wright responded: "If you're going to be naughty round my house you're going to have a problem."

Wright then continued to vent his frustration in a column on BBC Sport.

"Arsenal's defeat at Manchester United was especially disappointing because it showed they do not have the mental strength to deal with being where they are at in the title race," he wrote.

"Gunners fans know they have a fantastic opportunity to win the Premier League this season, but the team does not seem to understand the enormity of their situation, and what it requires. There are still 11 games to go but, as things stand, I do not watch them and see a team that has what it takes to win the title.

"The pressure was on the Gunners to get a good result, but I felt they had a great chance to pull it off. They were close to full strength, while United were fielding a weakened team, including some kids and a makeshift defence.

"But instead of raising their game because they knew what was at stake, Arsenal began badly and did not put United's frail back four under any pressure until they were already 2-0 down. It was not the sort of start that you make to a game that you feel you have to win, and they were punished for it."

Arsenal face Swansea City at the Emirates on Wednesday night.

Independent News Service

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