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11th Apr 2017

Arsene Wenger’s reaction to the mere mention of Arsenal fans says it all

This was one painful interview

Conan Doherty

To give Arsene Wenger his dues, he stood for over three minutes and spoke with Sky Sports on Monday night.

It could not have been easy. They slipped to a 3-0 defeat, their fifth loss in eight games, another beating by Sam Allardyce and, in front of the football-watching world, their top four ambitions faded with a pathetic whimper.

You might even say it was classic Arsenal, that’s the sad reality of it all now. A team and a club that once had the balls to push United off their perch and stare them down every season and come back for more even if they were killed off the year previous are now just predictable and mediocre.

That’s why Jamie Carragher ripping them to pieces on Monday Night Football was such compelling viewing because it was such important viewing.

Speaking with Geoff Shreeves after the Crystal Palace game, Arsene Wenger didn’t have much answers and his body language was all too telling.

Arsenal fans

As soon as the Sky Sports reporter even mentions the words ‘Arsenal fans singing’, Wenger literally winces.

His eyes sink to the floor and then he can’t even bring himself to look at Shreeves as the rest of the question is being asked.

The fans were said to be singing “you’re not fit to wear the shirt” but it wasn’t a question the Gunners boss was comfortable with.

His reply wouldn’t have done much to stop the chants but, then again, what could he really say?

“You can understand that our fans are very unhappy. You come here with the hope of winning the game.”

Most of his answers were short and sharp.


“He was up for it and he’s a handful for anybody when he’s like that.”

Cyrstal Palace having more fight

“I think they were sharper than us in the duels but certainly in many decisive situations.”

That’s a question that stings too because it’s the same accusation that’s been levelled at Wenger’s teams for over a decade now.

Why do Crystal Palace have more fight?

“Look, it’s not the right moment. I think we had a lot of the ball, we had a lot of possession, and I think we won many second balls as well. But I think, in the decisive duels, they were stronger – especially Benteke.”

Why was Arsene unable to change things?

“I just told you, they won more decisive duels than us.”

What was said at half time?

“Look, what we say in the dressing room remains in the dressing room.”

Top four

“It’s damaging, of course. It’s a difficult defeat but it also has consequences for our chances to be in the top four.”

Then, of course, the inevitable question about his future

That drew a smile because he must’ve been expecting it for over three minutes.

“Geoff, I don’t know,” the Frenchman responded.

“But I cannot go on forever after a game like that, I’m disappointed and determined to put things right. Tonight, the worry is not me, it’s the fact we lost a big game.”

But, like… any update?


Watch the whole thing below, if you can bear it.

It’s not that nice seeing a once great manager reduced to this but he looks like a man who no longer even has faith in his own abilities.

“I have managed over 1100 games for Arsenal Football Club and we are not use to losing like that. It’s a big worry.”

Yes it is.

Catch up with this week’s episode of 888sport Football Friday Live