Wojciech Szczesny defends Arsene Wenger following Arsenal revolt

 

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."

PA

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