Wednesday 26 November 2014

Arsene Wenger brushes off criticism; ...calls for solidarity

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has brushed off criticism from major shareholder Alisher Usmanov but has warned he should show some solidarity during difficult times.

In an interview with CNBC, Usmanov, who owns just over 30 percent of the club, described Wenger as a great coach but questioned why the manager had not addressed the problems that have plagued the team in recent years.

“Arsene Wenger is one of the greatest coaches not just of European, but of world football,” Usmanov said.

“The potential of the team is there, but there is no critical evaluation of own mistakes and their admittance,” he added. “Not a single genius can retain its level when he does not admit own mistakes. Only when you admit your mistakes do you get rid of them.”
Wenger is happy to take criticism but believes public statements do little to help the team and has suggested Usmanov should have aired his concerns to his face.
“When you are such a long time in football as I am, you don’t understand any more what crisis means. I must get to the dictionary and look at it well again,” said Wenger.

“During the 18 years I have been here I have shown that I can take criticism. Everybody has the right to have an opinion, having said that, we have values at this club.

“The first one is when we go through a difficult patch, we show solidarity. That is a very important one.

“The second one is that, when you have something to say to each other, we say it face to face. We don’t need to go to the newspapers.

“I don’t take (Usmanov’s comments) personally at all. It is an opinion that I respect, but when you are from this club, you are from this club. You are in or out, you cannot be both.

“I am long enough in the game to know that when you play well, but lose the game, you get flooded with critics, however, if you play a very bad game, but you win it, everyone says how great you are.

“It is our job to take a distance with that and see what was right and what was wrong. The rest is part of the game.”
Credit: Michelle/SetantaSport 

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