Arsene Wenger threatened to walk out of his press conference over “boring” criticisms of his decision to play David Ospina against Olympiacos.
The Arsenal boss rested Petr Cech for the midweek Champions League clash, with stand-in Ospina making a calamitous error in a 3-2 loss that leaves the Gunners facing a struggle to qualify from the group stage.
Wenger has been criticised over the decision to bench his best goalkeeper for a match he had described as “must-win”, while our article questioned whether the Frenchman had taken the Gunners as far as he could.
But the manager his hit back and reiterated his belief that the club have “two world-class goalkeepers”.
“I did not hear one pundit analysing the game,” he said. “They all hid behind the same point and jumped on the criticism bandwagon. None of them used any figures. If you leave the game thinking the defeat is down to playing Ospina then I question your knowledge in the game.”
Wenger then became annoyed as he continued to be probed over his team selection.
“Stop that question or we stop the press conference,” he said.
Wenger went on to admit his frustration over the defeat to the Greek side.
He said: “We learn from victory and we learn from defeat. The disappointment is that it’s happened before.”
Wenger on Mourinho
Sky Sports’ Andy Burton then asked: “Was Jose Mourinho right when he says there’s only one manager not under pressure?”
Wenger, renowned for his bitter rivalry with Mourinho, snapped: “Stop that story or we stop the press conference.”
Wenger was then asked about his feisty press conference on Tuesday night when he insisted he should not be questioned on his selection as there were things journalists did not know.
When asked today what he had meant, Wenger said: “Like I don’t know anything that you do in your job. You make decisions and you have more information than I have and it’s exactly the same in my job.
“You come to the came and assess. Was I right or wrong. I never criticise that. I accept your judgment of how the team played and your assessment. But I don’t have to give you all the information regarding my decisions.”
Then he was asked whether he could understand fans’ frustrations and also if he was accountable for his selection.
“I don’t understand that (fans’ reaction) at all. I make the decision I think is right for the game,” said Wenger. “I am accountable on the results of my team and the way they play football.”
Angry Wenger also hit back at pundits for being “very boring” and snapped again when asked who would play in goal against Manchester United.
“Have you another question?” he snarled. “We have two days training. Do not come always back with that same story. I think you lack a bit of creativity in the press at the moment and you follow a bandwagon. It’s very boring.
“I don’t go along with that. If you have an interesting question I will answer but apart from that let’s not always come back to the same story. Come to the game on Sunday and you will see who’s in the goal.
“I think you have not watched well the game on Tuesday night. To come always with the same story. You can put the goalkeeper you want in the goal. He can make a mistake and you have to accept that.”
“The experts have a lack a bit of creativity in their questions. They don’t analyse well. Honestly, not one came out and analysed well the game. One pundit says something on TV and all behind that repeat the same thing. It is quite boring.
“Nobody came out with numbers where the game was won or lost. It’s quite depressing to read that and hear that. But all just come to the same conclusion and haven’t watched what’s gone on on the pitch.
“We lost the game because we didn’t defend well. Yes the keeper made a mistake but we could still have won the game because of that.”
Koscielny injury blow
Wenger also revealed Laurent Koscielny will be out for three weeks with the hamstring injury suffered against Olympiacos while Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini are still out.
This week has marked Wenger’s 19 years at the club but the Frenchman, 66 later this month, was in no mood to celebrate.
“I’m more focused on our next game than looking back at how long I am here,” said Wenger. “I don’t realise that it’s such a long time because in our job it’s always what’s in front of you. One day I may look back but I don’t think it’s the best day today.
“Koscielny will certainly be out. He has a hamstring strain and it looks like it could be 3 weeks, something like that.”
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