Wenger: Team must lift the crowd

Arsene Wenger insists he can cope with the Arsenal boo-boys as he focuses on taking the Gunners through to a successful end to the season.

Great assist, great goal.

Arsenal suffered a third straight Barclays Premier League defeat when they lost 2-1 at home to Manchester United last Sunday, during which Wenger's decision to substitute livewire Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - who actually had a slight calf problem - for the ineffectual Andrey Arshavin was greeted with chants of "you don't know what you're doing" from some sections of the Emirates Stadium.

While Wenger accepts everyone is entitled to vent their frustrations, the Arsenal manager is not about to take things personally as he prepares for Sunday's FA Cup fourth-round tie against Aston Villa.

Asked about last week's jeers, he said: "I can live with that. I do not think about the fans' reaction, I think about how we can win our games.

"I will live forever by the values I think are right in football. One or two lost games, or one or two bad reactions will not change that.

"I always believe the fans' reaction depends on us.

"It is the team which has to get the fans behind them, and the fans have to be proud of the team. The vibes have to come from us.

"What was disappointing for me was that we produced a bad performance in the first half (against United), but a decent performance in the second half and should have won.

"We did not deserve to lose. The team did not get the credit it deserved for the performance in the second half."

Wenger addressed the squad at Arsenal's Hertfordshire training complex this week to reiterate his belief they can force their way back into the top four, despite now trailing Chelsea by five points.

"The most important thing is that the player believes he is good and strong and that the manager believes in his players," he said.

"I am convinced yes, but no matter who you are, if you lose one or two games your belief drops a little bit. It does not make you a bad player, you are still a great player, it was just a disappointing performance.

"That is a big difference between who you really are and what your last performance told you.

"I believe 100% in this team, we will see where we stand at the end of the season."

Wenger expects "complete focus" against Villa on Sunday as they look to keep alive hopes of a first trophy since lifting the FA Cup in Cardiff in 2005.

"If you look at Villa's team sheet they are a very good side, they can produce good results, especially away from home, because they are dangerous on counter-attacks," said Wenger.

Wenger confirmed on Friday that England midfielder Jack Wilshere had suffered "a little setback" in his recovery from an ankle injury.

The 20-year-old was first troubled by the problem while on international duty last summer, and apart from a pre-season appearance in the Emirates Cup has not played a competitive match for the Gunners.

Wilshere, who needed surgery after initially wearing a protective boot, will now have further tests and then a series of consultations with specialists before deciding how to proceed.

The fitness of the combative midfielder will also be of concern to England boss Fabio Capello as he prepares for his side's Euro 2012 campaign in Poland and Ukraine this summer.

"Jack had a little setback, it is under investigation at the moment. We don't know how bad it is, as soon as we know more we will sit down with Jack and we will inform you," said Wenger.

"He has pain again in his ankle, and he has done nothing special. Just pain, so we stopped him training straight away.

"He is seeing a specialist today [Friday].

"I cannot give you any (time scale) because I could be completely wrong."

Wilshere voiced his frustration over the injury problem on his Twitter account.

He wrote: "It is true I have had a set back I can't tell you how long I have been set back because I don't know! I am very annoyed but will stay strong."

comments powered by Disqus

Most Popular News

News & Update