Tuesday 20 August 2019

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger 'immune to excessive reactions' from disgruntled fans

Arsene Wenger has played down receiving criticism from fans
Arsene Wenger has played down receiving criticism from fans

Arsene Wenger feels "immune" to brickbats from Arsenal fans gripped by Britain's election culture.

The Gunners boss vowed to take outside criticism on the chin - but not to be distracted by "excessive reactions" - as he bids to close the nine-point gap on Premier League leaders Chelsea following costly consecutive defeats at Everton and Manchester City.

"We have gone the way that if you have five candidates to be elected Prime Minister you organise the vote one Sunday and people will elect one," Wenger said.

"You organise a vote for the next Sunday and you might elect somebody else. That's where we are today and we have to live with that and the excessive reactions.

"What you want in life is to focus on what you want to achieve and give the maximum to achieve it and question yourself always. That's part of our job.

"Fortunately we live in a country where everybody has a freedom to have an opinion. And we have to respect that. But we have to live with what we want to achieve and how we want to do it.

"I feel immune to that. I'm not immune to critics. But immune to excessive reactions, yes.

"I've been long enough in the job to put that into perspective as part of people who love the club that are really disappointed on Monday morning and get their frustration out. We have to live with that.

"It doesn't mean they are not ready to change their mind if we don't win the next game."

Wenger shuns football punditry, saying he is "more focused on just trying to be honest and sincere" than concocting any deflection strategies in the event of an Arsenal defeat.

Arsenal host West Brom at the Emirates Stadium on Boxing Day, desperate to return to winning ways.

Wenger admitted Premier League "stress" can make or break the modern footballer - but insists his squad can bind together to find form.

"I've seen many players fail because they did not have resistance to stress," the Frenchman said.

"It's not easy to walk out sometimes in a hostile atmosphere and perform at your best. We are usually educated to it slowly.

"Everybody responds individually to that (the mood of a crowd). Some are more affected than others.

"I believe what is important is the strength you find inside and you respond inside the club to be united inside the dressing room.

"The strength you can find. There's a special thing happening for a football player in the dressing room.

"I spoke with (David) Beckham about that recently. I asked him, 'Do you miss it?'. He said, 'Football I can play every day, I'm invited in all the charity games, but I miss the dressing room, that kind of being together for something together'.

"Fighting together, that's what you miss. That helps them to get over it.

"You do not go in the season and have no disappointment. We have just lost two games. Of course it's tough but (Manchester) City didn't win for six, Tottenham for four or five, Manchester United as well; all the teams go through that.

"It's the teams who respond well together who have the most successful season. It's part of it.

"In 20 years I had very few seasons where you start on the motorway and you finish on the motorway with no car in front of you."

PA Media

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