Arsene Wenger has responded to fan criticism following another Champions League exit by calling the fans that organised a protest against him ‘brainwashed’ by the media, Mirror reports.
Some 200 fans have made it a routine to pull out the ‘Wengerout’ banners before each game as Wenger’s contract run out at the end of the season and with a new two-year offer for him in waiting.
Wenger believes his extensive experience as a manager gives him a bird’s-eye view on things and blames football commentators for living too much ‘in the moment’ when giving verdicts on club performances.
“You can’t live in an isolated world.” he said. “When you are a footballer, even if you don’t read it, you are told what people think. You can’t live in a world where you can’t be influenced by anything.
“For example, I watched the last 20 minutes of PSG v Barca again. It’s interesting when you see all the conclusions that come out of the game. And the same people who spoke after the game said with 10 minutes to go PSG was absolutely outstanding.
“Ten minutes later, they are absolute rubbish. People brainwash you with what they think is right.”
Wenger blamed the referee earlier for playing a bigger role than needed in Barcelona’s stunning comeback over PSG, something Arsenal experienced themselves with Laurent Koscielny receiving the marching orders in the second half against Bayern Munich.
He continues: “Get out of the heated atmosphere and look at things in an objective way. Sometimes it confirms what people say. Sometimes it doesn’t. I managed about 2000 games – I might know a little something about the game as well.”
“No matter what happens in the future you will always lose games. I can’t guarantee we will win all the games. We are in the semi-final of the FA Cup. How many times have we been? You have to accept nothing is good enough, you have to live with that.”
Arsenal won their last Premier League title in 2004 and have made it a habit to depart from the Champions League in Round of 16 every year. Success partly returned with them lifting the FA Cup on two occasions following their move to the Emirates – in 2014 and 15.
“The importance of the game has become bigger. You can’t escape it anymore. No matter where a player goes today it’s talked about. You have so many news channels.
“Maybe 30 years ago, the guy who lost a game had one journalist who went with the players to the pub and had a beer after. And sometimes two and three, four, five, or more.”
Arsenal are now set to travel to West Brom on Saturday in bid to find winning form again following FA Cup victory over Lincoln.