A week ago, Arsene Wenger was the target of jeering by the frustrated away fans after Arsenal’s 3-2 loss to Stoke. This weekend, he was treated to thousands of fans singing his name inside the packed Emirates as Arsenal cruised to a 4-1 win over a dangerous Newcastle side. Seems impossible that only seven days separate the two occurrences, but there you go.
The fans had every right to be cheerful on what turned out to be a perfect game ahead of the holidays. The Gunners were in control for large portions of the game, our defence stood up to the Newcastle probing, Szczesny made a few good saves and Giroud and Cazorla both continued their fine form by scoring a brace each.
After the game, Wenger was understandably happy with the performance and complimented the team and the players. When asked about the chanting, he said that it made him ‘feel grateful’ and that he ‘enjoyed it’.
We can score goals and we showed that again tonight. Overall it was a dynamic game where defensively – despite the fact that we were depleted at the back – we were quite solid. Going forward we always looked dangerous. In the end we won in a convincing way. We scored four goals and that was needed. The response was strong after the Stoke City game and let’s go well over Christmas.
I’m a bit scared to say that but at Stoke we missed the start of the game and defensively. You look at the chances we had at Stoke and we could have scored four or five there as well and we finished the game with 10 men. Defensively we were not at the races from the start and we paid the price for that. The fluency going forward was not disastrous, it was our defending that was not good.
I’m grateful for that [the support from the fans] and I enjoy it but the most important thing is the way we play football and I think [what] is most important is that our fans go home happy because we have played well and won.
My job is to win football games and make people happy. What happened last week, I said on television, I [have] worked for 18 years in this country and I’m grateful for that. I’ve been accepted 99.9 per cent with a big respect. I can take the 0.01 per cent and live with it. My job is to make people happy – if they are not happy, I have to live with it.
The manager has proven that he has not yet burned out and still has the quality to produce results. The fans, who were singing “There is only one Wenger” made it clear that ‘Wenger out’ is not a majority opinion among the fans. Maybe it is just the festive season, but it was good to see the club united and performing so well. Let’s hope this continues for the rest of the season.