Monday 20 November 2017

Wenger hopes to continue league run

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, pictured, hopes his team will have learned from their mistakes against Monaco
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, pictured, hopes his team will have learned from their mistakes against Monaco

Manager Arsene Wenger hopes watching a painful rerun of Arsenal's dismal home Champions League defeat by Monaco can quickly get the players back in form.

The Gunners have come under fire once again for failing to produce the required performance with an abject European display to lose the first leg 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night, a result which leaves them on the brink of elimination ahead of the quarter-final stages once again.

Wenger maintains he is not immune to criticism, but is hurt more by the defeat than what the pundits have to say or anyone's rants on social media.

However, the Frenchman intends to now focus on the challenges ahead, with the visit of Everton on Sunday the opportunity for an early response to cement their place in the top three of the Barclays Premier League.

"It is always hard (to watch the match again), it is hard to see that you make mistakes," said Wenger, set to be without England midfielder Jack Wilshere, after a minor procedure to remove a stud in his ankle which was causing some discomfort.

"We are all human beings. We were born without any guarantee that we would not make mistakes."

Wenger added: "What is difficult is switching my mindset from disappointment (of defeat) to Premier League.

"It is a very good opportunity for us to put things right again. Having watched the game again, we started quite well and the goal against us was a big blow.

"We were shocked that we were 1-0 down after we rushed our game.

"We lost our discipline and everybody became too individual, we were too impatient, then we lost our game a little bit.

"Apart from that, we are on a strong run. This is a different competition and it is just important we continue our run in the Premier League again."

Wenger feels there is plenty of life left in Arsenal's season, having collected five wins from the last six league matches.

"I can talk a lot, but what is important now is to look forward - instead of worrying about yesterday I prefer to look towards tomorrow," he said.

"It is important for us to focus on what is in front of us. The season does not stop.

"We have seen big teams before have disappointments - Manchester United have gone out in big seasons and still won the Championship after. It is how you respond."

Wenger is confident Arsenal can compete with the leading sides, having secured a memorable victory at Manchester City last month.

"We just played 2-2 at Liverpool (on December 21), we have beaten Manchester City away and we have just beaten Crystal Palace," said Wenger when asked why Arsenal have picked up relatively few points against teams who last season were in the top half of the table.

"The good teams from last season, some of them are in the second part of the table this season, for example, Everton.

"Which are the better teams? Liverpool has never finished above us (regularly) in the last 10 years, and Manchester City lost against us a few weeks ago."

Wenger continued: "We have not lost 10 games on the trot. We are a team which has won seven of the last nine (Premier League) games, now we want to win our next game - that is what it is about."

While commentators, former players and celebrity fans alike may be taking to the airways and social media to give their views on Arsenal's shortcomings, Wenger is not about to become embroiled in a war of words.

"The comments are always extreme. I think I let people talk and don't talk too much," he said.

Press Association

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