Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Arsenal have problems but I can fix them, says Wenger


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LONDON: Languishing mid-table, outplayed by teams he would fully expect to beat and with fans loudly questioning his judgement, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger concedes his side have problems but is adamant he can fix them.

Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat in the Premier League by Swansea City was bad enough for some fans, but the more alarming issue was the Welsh side’s ability to dominate possession and create numerous chances in a manner akin to Wenger’s sides of old.

Arsenal’s tepid display demonstrated how far the team has fallen since the heady days of 2004 when the ‘Invincibles’ went through the season unbeaten to win their 13th and last English title.

Prior to the Swansea loss, Wenger had pointed to the fact that four of their six league games in December would be at home and that was reason to believe his side could build some momentum and close the gap on the leaders.

However, Saturday’s defeat will have hit the confidence of his side, who were also outplayed by Fulham for long periods of their entertaining 3-3 home draw last month.

Currently 10th in the Premier League after 15 games, five points behind arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur and 15 behind leaders Manchester United, Wenger knows he has his work cut out with high-flying West Bromwich Albion visiting on Saturday.

”There’s a problem of course,” Wenger said. ”What is important when you have a problem is to do something about it.

”The second thing is the strength to do something about it, and I’m confident we have both. We have the strength and we will do something about it. Let’s not go overboard.

”We lost on Saturday and of course we are not happy with that. But I am confident that we have a strong team, that we have a strong spirit in the side,” he told the club’s website.

Critics have been quick to blame the sale of striker Robin van Persie in the close season and the poor return of his replacement Olivier Giroud, but issues lie all across the team.

Chants of: ”You don’t know what you’re doing” were aimed at Wenger when Arsenal finished without a striker on the field in the 0-0 draw at Aston Villa last month but the Frenchman, who has a contract until 2014, is not walking away.

”I always respected my contracts and that I never renegotiated any contract in my life,” he said. (Reuters)


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