Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

‘Unacceptable’ Arsenal put Wenger in firing line

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger described his team’s performance as “unacceptable” after they were swept aside 4-0 by Liverpool at Anfield.

Arsenal turned in an abject performance in Sunday’s game, despite the return of Alexis Sanchez following his delayed start to the season, and Wenger did not attempt to offer up any excuses for the humiliation.

“Everything,” said Wenger when asked what had gone wrong.

“I think from the first minute to the last minute we were not at the level requested for such a game.

“Not physically, not technically, not mentally and we we were punished. That’s basically it.

“Of course, you can analyse the chances we gave away, but I just think overall the performance was not at the requested level.”

Wenger, who spent barely two minutes in his post-match press conference, could offer little explanation as to why the display was so abject.

But after using the uncertainty over his own future as an excuse for some poor showings last season, he could not do the same at the start of the new campaign.

“That’s a question which is very difficult to answer straight away after the game,” said the Frenchman, who signed a new two-year contract in May, after being asked to explain his side’s capitulation.

“There are some reasons, but I don’t think I have too much to comment on that now.

“Last season I said that after 30 games. Now we have played three games. We have played one home game and two away games.

“Given our first two games, our performances were quite good, but today the performance was not acceptable at that level.”

Wenger had been more forthcoming in a television interview after the game, although he was not in the mood for knee-jerk over-reaction.

No hug from Mignolet

“The result is a consequence of our performance,” he said. “We were not good enough.

“We were beaten everywhere physically. In the end I believe we made it easier for them and the mistakes gave them a cushion.

“It was shocking, but our performance was absolutely disastrous. Not to become too emotional, we have to take some distance.

“There are some reasons behind it and the players now go on their international break, but we do have to take the consequences of our performance today.

“If you find a manager who is happy with that performance today, I wish you good luck. The emotions are negative, but it’s not the right moment to talk about that.”

The manner of the defeat will again put Wenger’s long-term future in the spotlight, but he did not want to comment on the away supporters booing his team and chanting for him to go.

“I don’t want to answer that. It’s part of the crowd’s feeling,” he said.

“If some people feel as if I am the problem, then I am sorry that I am the problem.

“But we want the fans to be with us even when we lose like that. All we can do is come back and give them a different level of performance.”

Opposite number Jurgen Klopp was understandably delighted with his team’s display and especially happy that his gamble in replacing first-choice goalkeeper Simon Mignolet with Loris Karius had paid off.

“We created the situation before the season started that we want three really strong goalkeepers,” Klopp said. “And that’s our situation now.

“I told Si yesterday and he didn’t give me a hug and say, ‘Thanks boss, that’s what I thought we should do!’ But I wanted to give him a rest and have Loris in the game.

“If nothing else, I can say 100 percent, our next game against Manchester City, Simon starts.” – Agence France-Presse

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

Johannesburg council member Jolidee Matongo touted as front-runner to take...

The ANC will likely announce a candidate to take over as the city’s mayor next week after consultation with provincial and national leaders

Covid-19 jab: a ticket of responsibility, not a ticket to...

Being fully vaccinated ‘makes you a little bit more comfortable in your skin’, says 61-year-old Elize Parker

More top stories

Johannesburg council member Jolidee Matongo touted as front-runner to take...

The ANC will likely announce a candidate to take over as the city’s mayor next week after consultation with provincial and national leaders

Clashes in Tunisia after president ousts PM amid Covid protests

Street clashes erupted Monday outside Tunisia's army-barricaded parliament, a day after President Kais Saied ousted the prime minister and suspended the legislature, plunging the young democracy into a constitutional crisis

Five things to watch in the Zambian elections

Zambia will hold presidential elections in three weeks’ time amidst an ongoing economic crisis and rising political tensions. These are the five most important things to look out for in the elections

Covid-19 jab: a ticket of responsibility, not a ticket to...

Being fully vaccinated ‘makes you a little bit more comfortable in your skin’, says 61-year-old Elize Parker
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×