Arsene Wenger has come in for a huge amount of criticism recently, from both fans and pundits alike. Gary Neville was particularly critical of the Frenchman and Arsenal as a team, but Wenger has responded to the criticism and rubbished Neville’s opinions, as reported by the Mirror.
In a previous piece by the Mirror, they highlighted Neville’s comments about our lack of “personality”, “grit and determination” holding us back.
Wenger claims this is preposterous, and insists we wouldn’t have won the FA Cup last season if we didn’t have the mental strength required.
Diplomatic as ever, Wenger spoke of the right every person has to their opinion – be they player, pundit, or fan. He totally disagreed with Neville though, and raised the point that pundits were rarely called up on their unfair and incorrect criticisms.
“Opinions for me have to be documented,” Wenger said, during an interview with beIN Sports (via the Mirror).
“We won the [FA] cup last year. You don’t win the [FA] cup unless you are mentally strong, believe me. That’s why I don’t agree with that.
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“You have to respect everybody’s opinion. Pundits are just people who are filmed by a camera and give their opinion and you have to accept that but if a pundit gives an opinion and is not right in six months, nobody will come back and say: ‘well, why did you say that six months ago? You were completely wrong.’
“People who make decisions have to be responsible and stand up for their decisions and that’s not exactly the same for the opinion.
“That’s part of our job, to be confronted with different opinions and to accept that sometimes people are wrong and sometimes people are right. That’s part of it. I disagree of course.”
Mental strength is seemingly not our problem, and the squad we currently have looks to have the quality to challenge in almost every area. We are lacking world class talent in a couple of positions though, and our depth in certain areas of the team is truly poor.
In recent seasons we have gone into the campaign with a threadbare defence, and when Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker eventually succumbed to injury, illness, or exhaustion, we were forced into using a makeshift defenders.
We are in danger of falling into the same trap this season, with Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain our only established senior forwards.
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The likes of Joel Campbell, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, and Alex Iwobi are capable of being fielded, but with both players relatively unproven, it would be foolish to rely on them.
Is Wenger right? Or do you agree with G Nevs?