Wenger: Time to prove we have the quality to compete


Arsene Wenger says he’s not in denial about the poor quality of Arsenal’s performance in the 4-0 defeat to Liverpool before the international break. However, he firmly believes his team can turn things around quickly because that’s the nature of top level sport.

Facing the media for the first time since the trip to Anfield, the boss made clear that the defeat, as always, left him suffering but he also made clear he’s not giving up on the season three games in.

“Do I suffer from performances like that? That’s obvious.

“If it makes you happy that I suffer then I can tell you you can be very happy.

“Unfortunately, it’s part of the career as well. Ideally you want your team to perform at the top level and of course, you question your decisions, your preparation.

“We have played three games, there are 35 to go. We have the quality to respond and the opportunity to show that was an accident and that the season is very long.

“I look at some teams and they are not very far way from us, they want to win the championship as well.

“We were not at the expected level, we know that and we will respond in a positive way.”

It was put to Wenger that two defeats from three games and the reaction to the Gunners transfer window business had seen the club veer towards ‘crisis’ territory. Not the case, says the boss.

“I can never understand what is a crisis. Is to lose a game a crisis? I don’t know.

“For me every single defeat is a crisis.”

He added: “We had a performance like that at Liverpool a few years ago [5-1 defeat in February 2014] then we played them at the Emirates a week later and we beat them easy [2-1 in the FA Cup 5th Round].

“Performance swings, life is movement. The quality of performance can change from one week to the other.

“That doesn’t put me in any denial that our performance was not good enough.

“Sport is sport. I love my players, I believe in my players and we have an opportunity to show that we have the quality that people want from us.”

There was also a rallying call to the fans to back the team: “We are at the part of the season where we want our fans behind the team. They can come out of the game and come to a quick conclusion that we are not good enough.

“Or they can see what’s happening and stand behind the team. That’s what we want.”

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