Wenger hits out at press
Under pressure Gunners boss Arsene Wenger refuses to discuss transfer dealings, hitting out at prying press when speaking yesterday in Istanbul.
Whilst preparing for the critical Champions League play off against Fenerbahce, Wenger addressed the media. But he would not be drawn on questions relating to his side’s difficulty in signing new players and made it clear that he will not be obliged to explain Arsenal’s internal affairs to the press.
Newcastle United manger Alan Pardew had previously flared up after an Arsenal bid for French midfielder Yohan Cabaye arrived on Monday, just as Newcastle were gearing up for the match against Manchester City that same evening. Pardew felt that his man had been unsettled and preceded to drop the 27-year-old from his side’s opening fixture.
Pardew was outraged by the bid’s timing quoted in The Independent saying:
“Why they couldn’t do us the respect and the honour of waiting until Tuesday is beyond me.”
Speaking at the press conference and reported by SkySports, Wenger was less that apologetic, and angered by the subject being raised.
He was heard retaliating by saying:
“There is nothing to explain. First of all, you don’t even know what we have done, you don’t know if we did bid and you have come to a conclusion without knowing everything that has happened.
“It is quite amazing that all of the people don’t know yet the always have opinions about things they don’t know.
“I won’t explain to you what happened. It is not down to me to explain to you everything I do. It is impossible.
“If we do a transfer, we will announce it. We always inform you. As for the rest, you have to leave us to do our own things.
“We don’t want to hurt anybody, not Newcastle, not anybody.”
Wenger went on to stress that he strongly believes in the team he has built and urged supporters to get behind the players and remember that the grass may not always be greener on the other side. He also defended his record in transfer markets since his arrival at Arsenal, all the way back in 1996.
“I would just like to reiterate to you that in the last 16 years we have been very successful with transfers – if you look at the players who play tomorrow, they are top quality players, and you should never forget that.
“It is not always to think what is outside is better than what you have. What is important as well is to rate what you have and our fans have to understand that as well.”
If Arsenal wish to attract some big names before the transfer window closes, remaining in the Champions League will be vital. Up against Fenerbahce for a group stage spot, tonight’s first leg could be a season defining encounter for the North London team and a chance for Wenger’s young squad to prove their worth.
A bad result could be very damaging after the unfortunate opening day defeat to Aston Villa in which England midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain picked up a knee injury and is looking at three month out. But Wenger will be relying on his team’s long experience in the competition; saying:
“You just want to prepare as well as you can and bounce back very quickly from Saturday with a good performance which is what I think we will do.
“Everywhere we go we try to win the game and that is the attitude we have.
“We have been everywhere in Europe in all the big stages and seen heated atmospheres, but we always try to play.”
The Gunners will be keeping in mind that opponents Fenerbahce were in fact kicked out of the Champions League when found guilty of match fixing earlier this summer.
They stayed in the draw after they appealed the decision and the final verdict will be announced on August 28th, one day after the second leg at the Emirates. So Arsenal may already be sitting on a winning ticket no matter what the result is tonight.