Hull 0 Arsenal 4: Arsene Wenger loses his cool again despite victory

The Frenchman bristled again when asked if the FA Cup could provide consolation for failure in other competitions

Jon Culley
KC Stadium
Tuesday 08 March 2016 23:43
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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

Even the comforting experience of a 4-0 cruise into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup did not have a mellowing effect on Arsène Wenger after the feisty exchanges with the media after last night’s fifth-round replay at Hull City.

The Arsenal manager, who lost his cool when questioned about his recent record at Monday’s press briefing, bristled again when it was suggested that the consolation of success in the Cup might again be set against failure in his quest for the major prizes of the Premier League and the Champions League.

Arsenal could win the FA Cup for a third season in a row but have not been domestic champions since 2004, while recovering from a 2-0 deficit in the Champions League tie with Barcelona when they go to Spain next week looks an unlikely proposition.

“Does the FA Cup mean a lot to me? Do you know someone who has won it more than me? I think that is your answer,” he replied to one question.

“You should judge a season after it has ended. I am surprised so many people judge it so early. We have not given up anywhere and you will see that in the coming weeks

“This club has been in much worse position than it is today.”

Asked if he had given up on beating Barcelona, his response was simply not to discuss the task his side faces next Wednesday. “What matters most in football is the next game and the next game is Watford at home on Sunday afternoon,” he said.

He dismissed the appearance of a banner among the Arsenal fans calling for him to quit as something that did not concern him.

“There is nothing disappointing for me about that. I do my job and if you look at the history of the club, you will see I have nothing to be scared of.

“But I don’t want to speak about that because it is always the same story. You can ask anyone else [about my record] but don’t keep coming back to me about it.”

Wenger revealed that he was tempted not to play striker Olivier Giroud after the Frenchman’s wife gave birth to a baby boy on Monday evening.

“I thought about it but he wanted to play and so you make a decision and hope it is the right one. He had not scored for a while so it will be good for him to have got two goals.”

Wenger has concerns about Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey, who started on the bench when carrying what was described as a minor niggle, but after taking the field in pace of Gabriel, he then had to be substituted himself after only 16 minutes on the field.

Arsenal also lost Per Mertesacker with a cut above an eye, while Gabriel suffered a pulled hamstring.

“Ramsey has a thigh strain,” Wenger said. “Of the three, he is the one we are most concerned about.”

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