Arsene Wenger: I will get Arsenal out of this difficult period
"We have gone through difficult periods before and you know how to turn it around," says a defiant Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger has vowed to lead Arsenal out of one of the club’s most difficult spells in recent seasons – but admits he understands the criticism levelled at his team of late.
The Arsenal boss has found his position under increasing scrutiny this week following the Gunners’ shock Capital One Cup exit at the hands of League Two Bradford City on Tuesday.
That defeat came after a miserable run of just two victories in seven Premier League games, with Wenger’s men lying in seventh place in the table and 15 points behind leaders Manchester United.
Wenger has also had to deal with reports this week claiming he had been involved in a bust-up with assistant coach Steve Bould.
But the Frenchman was as defiant as ever when he faced the media on Friday ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Reading on Monday night.
“I can understand that people criticise when the results are not as expected,” said Wenger.
“It looks like it has become the modern way to think. You say that 16 years [in charge] can be a handicap, but it can also be an advantage because you have experience, you love the club.
“If I sit here, it is because I have really shown how much I love this club. We have gone through difficult periods before and you know how to turn it around.
“Experience is vital. Having said that, in 16 years, it’s the first time we have gone out against [a team from] a lower division. It is one time too many, but our record still shows we have been consistently focused on the competition.
“We prepared for the game seriously and I don’t believe there is much more to say about that. We have to swallow that and take care of what’s important – the future.
“Our season will not be judged on how well we do in the Capital One Cup, but how well we do in the Premier League, the Champions League and the FA Cup.”
Asked about the reports of a fall-out with Bould, Wenger replied: “We are a united staff team. You cannot control all the lies that are written in the newspapers.”
Wenger, who also confirmed that Olivier Giroud would be available for Monday’s game after missing out at Bradford, refused to question his side’s commitment to the cause.
“[The squad felt] disappointment and frustration,” he continued. “That is normal when you go out in a competition like that. Having said that, we can only look at ourselves, get on with it and look to the future.
“This team cares, is serious and wants to do well. I do not question the spirit of the team.
“We are top professional people. What is important is what happens tomorrow, not what happened yesterday. We are sorry for [the defeat by Bradford] but what is important is the next game.”