Arsenal AGM: Arsene Wenger calls for calm after back-to-back defeats
Arsenal AGM: Arsene Wenger pleads with Gunners fans not to "go overboard" following the dissatisfaction at recent results
Arsene Wenger has called on Arsenal fans not to “go overboard” with criticism following their back-to-back defeats and has defended his side’s achievements in recent seasons.
The Gunners were beaten 2-0 by Schalke at The Emirates on Wednesday night after losing to Norwich on Saturday, leading to a tense atmosphere amongst shareholders at the club’s annual general meeting on Thursday.
Wenger’s side have not won a trophy in seven seasons, but the Frenchman is certain the club’s approach to long-term financial stability will pay dividends in seasons to come.
“I know there seems to be a lot of dissatisfaction and I can understand because we want to win,” Wenger said at the annual general meeting.
“But as well, it’s important we don’t go overboard. If everybody is absolutely devastated when we finished third in the league, I promise you I will not be here when we finish 15th one day.
“We have, last night, not produced a good performance but as well let’s not forget that it was the first defeat in 43 home games in the Champions League. First of all, not many clubs play 43 home games consecutively in the Champions League, and I think many teams don’t lose at all for 43 games.
“Having said that, we finished last year third in the league. A season where we had a very difficult start and where we, of course, had to be solid.
“One of the good consequences of last year is that the club has been solid, the team has been solid and the staff have been solid as well to come back and win third place that was down to one point basically.”
Wenger, whose side are 10 points behind league leaders Chelsea, also said that qualification for next season’s Champions League is more important than winning the FA Cup and League Cup because playing in Europe’s elite club competition allows the club to attract the biggest players in the transfer market.
“We speak about trophies,” he continued. “For me, there are five trophies – the first is to win the Premier League, the second is to win the Champions League, the third is to qualify for the Champions League, the fourth is to win the FA Cup and the fifth is to win the League Cup.
“I say that because if you want to attract the best players, they do not ask: ‘did you win the League Cup?’, they ask you: ‘do you play in the Champions League?”