Arsenal vs Hull: Gary Lineker and Piers Morgan lead criticism of Arsene Wenger after 'uncomfortable' interview with Jacqui Oatley

The BBC reporter quizzed the Arsenal manager on why the Gunners have won just two of their last eight matches, but was met with a stern response

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Arsene Wenger has been criticised for his reaction in an interview with the BBC’s Jacqui Oatley after she quizzed the Arsenal manager on why his side have only won two of their last eight matches.

The Gunners struggled to a 2-2 draw with Hull on Saturday which only came via a late Danny Welbeck goal in injury-time. Despite taking the lead through Alexis Sanchez’s sweetly-struck shot, two goals either side of half-time – the second of which saw Abel Hernandez score from the restart without Arsenal touching the ball – saw Arsenal chasing the game until the final whistle.

It is something that the Gunners have proven susceptible to this season, having trailed in five of their matches this season that they went on to draw or win. But when Oatley asked Wenger who or what was responsible for their poor form, Wenger snapped back in a sign of a man under pressure to succeed.

“I didn’t say that,” Wenger snapped when asked whether Hull had held back and spoiled Arsenal’s style of play. “You don’t listen really well to me.”

 

Oatley then asked whether the recent struggle for form could be down to Arsenal’s failure to sign another defender in the summer, given that they were down to three recognised defenders for the weekend match.

“Why do you always want to blame people?” Wenger quickly responded looking less than impressed with the question. “Look, you were at the game today. I don’t know why you come up with such questions.”

Wenger did go on to criticise the way that Arsenal conceded the second goal, which saw Hernandez easily beat centre-back Per Mertesacker in the air to head the ball home. Welbeck may have saved Arsenal’s reputation with the injury-time equaliser, but the striker had missed a number of opportunities and the game could have been out of sight had Arsenal taken their efforts on goal.

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Wenger reacts to Arsenal conceding a goal to Hull during the 2-2 draw

Welbeck revealed after the match that the players were instructed not to speak to the media after the match. The England international was asked a question by the press on his goal, his fifth since signing for the Gunners, but refused to comment as he revealed “Sorry, we’re not allowed,” before making his exit.

 

Wenger has been accused by the BBC of giving an “uncomfortable” interview on Saturday, with some observers claiming he would not have responded in such a manner had he been talking to a male journalist.

Former England international and BBC Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker was one of those critical of Wenger, who turns 65 on Wednesday, as he labelled him “arrogant and patronising” among other things.

"Must say, I thought Arsene Wenger was arrogant, defensive and patronising to Jacqui Oatley in the face of excellent and fair questioning,” Lineker said in his Twitter account.

 

In fairness to Wenger, the reason he may have appeared defensive is because he has to be when his side are struggling to win matches. In a game that saw some areas of the Emirates Stadium crowd boo the home side at the final whistle, a number of Arsenal fans quickly took to Twitter to call for a change and suggest Wenger should be sacked.

Veteran Wenger critic Piers Morgan was one of those who chose to take to social media to vent his frustration that Wenger agreed a new three-year contract at the end of last season. The journalist and former TV presenter has repeatedly called for change at the club at both board and manager level, and he was vocal in his support for Oatley – and damning once again in his criticism of Wenger.

 

Following the draw, Arsenal slipped 11 points off the top of the Premier League table given Chelsea secured a 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace. There is some respite for Wenger given that his side face Anderlecht on Wednesday when he will celebrate his birthday, and it is a match that the Gunners really should be winning if they are to live up to their pre-season hype that they can finally compete with Europe’s biggest teams.

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