Wojciech Szczesny defends Arsene Wenger following Arsenal revolt
Tuesday 24 January 2012
Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has hit out at fresh questions about Arsene Wenger's position as manager following the open revolt against one of his decisions.
Wenger's relationship with Gunners supporters reached an all-time low on Sunday when they railed against his substitution of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for Andrey Arshavin in the 2-1 defeat to Manchester United.
Wenger, who admitted the change did not work after watching Arshavin fail to prevent Antonio Valencia setting up United's winner, is suddenly back under massive pressure after three successive Barclays Premier League defeats.
The Frenchman rode out Arsenal's worst start to a season since 1958 - including the 8-2 humiliation at Old Trafford - but supporters never revolted quite as they did on Sunday.
There had also never been the spectacle of captain Robin van Persie appearing to react to the substitution with the word "no".
However, Szczesny, who refused to criticise fans, insisted Wenger's position should never be called into question.
"He's done a magnificent job over the 15 years and he's still doing it now," he said.
"So I don't think his position at this club should ever be questioned."
Oxlade-Chamberlain also backed his manager.
Admitting he was pleased with the fan reaction to his own performance, the 18-year-old said: "He's Arsene Wenger, a top-quality manager for a number of years for Arsenal.
"He's done a lot for this club so whatever he does and whatever decision he makes towards me and the team, I'll have to respect and I do respect that."
He added: "The fans pay money to come and watch us so they have the right to have their own opinions and show their frustration.
"But all we can guarantee and I can guarantee is the boys are completely focused on the task at hand.
"We have meetings in the week and we talk about what we need to improve on.
"Everyone is trying to push in the same direction and maybe it's not going for us how we may like at the moment.
"Recently, we've had some very good performances but come up against some very good teams. We've just fallen short at the last hurdle.
"All we can guarantee is we're working very hard in training and in games and we'll do all we can try put it right."
It was a bittersweet full debut for the winger, who did not know for certain whether he would be starting until the morning of the game.
"It's a stride in the right direction for me and that's what I want to be doing," said Oxlade-Chamberlain, who set up Van Persie's equaliser.
"It's not going to be easy to keep that position. I can't say I will at all.
"All I can do is keep working hard on the pitch and keep putting my all into it and try to repay the boss's trust with the performances."
Latest in Sport
Arsenal transfer news and rumours: Gabriel Paulista sent to Paris to speed up move; Luis Suarez bid planned; Gunners eye Daniele Rugani
Chelsea vs Liverpool match report: Branislav Ivanovic seals classic semi-final with extra-time header to send Blues to Wembley
Gabriel Paulista: Talented Brazilian could grow into world-class defender at Arsenal
Andy Murray vs Tomas Berydch: Murray cool over reunion with coach Dani Vallverdu at the Australian Open
Transfer news live: Gabriel Paulista to Arsenal CONFIRMED; Juan Cuadrado to Chelsea; Liverpool close in on £14m Ezequiel Lavezzi
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 3 Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures