Wenger: 'Fans have been brainwashed'

Exasperated Arsenal manager hits back after coming under fire from sections of the Emirates following opening day loss.

    Wenger: 'Fans have been brainwashed'
    Fans are angry about Arsenal’s eight-year trophy drought and are urging the manager to spend [AFP]

    Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal fans have been "brainwashed" by the constant negativity surrounding his team.

    Wenger came under fire from large sections of the Emirates Stadium crowd following Arsenal's 3-1 defeat against Aston Villa on the opening day of the season.

    That barrage of abuse followed several incidents of barracking from angry fans last season as Arsenal's trophy drought stretched to eight years.

    But Gunners boss Wenger, whose side have calmed the critics with successive victories over Fenerbahce and Fulham since that Villa loss, is convinced the occasionally poisonous atmosphere in north London is due to fans letting their emotions get the better of them after reading so many negative stories about the club.

    'Excessive reactions'

    It's always excessive reactions... You (the media) have brainwashed a little bit the Emirates. Maybe rightly so, because we haven't won trophies for years; everything is always negative... We have to live this out and just play football well

    Arsene Wenger,

    "It's always excessive reactions," Wenger said.

    "We lost one game since the beginning of March. That's why it (the Villa loss) was a shock.

    "The defeat was a shock, because it's the first game of the season.

    "We won in the Champions League away at Bayern (Munich, in March), we won 3-0 at Fenerbahce.

    "It's just like that at the moment. You (the media) have brainwashed a little bit the Emirates.

    "Maybe rightly so, because we haven't won trophies for years; everything is always negative.

    "We have to live this out and just play football well."

    The Frenchman has been in charge at Arsenal since October 1996 and is now the top flight's longest serving manager following Alex Ferguson's retirement from Manchester United last season.

    But Wenger, who has turned down a host of offers to leave Arsenal during his reign, believes society in general, and football in particular, has become more reactionary and less likely to show loyalty during difficult times.

    "On one side when people are not loyal, people criticise; when they are loyal, they say they are there for too long," he said.

    "It's always an excessive reaction and that's why people in charge have to take a (step back), more than ever.

    "Being responsible in life is to do things you think are right, it's not to react to what people say.

    "If you listen always to what people say, you go five minutes one way and 10 minutes later you go the other way.

    "When you have responsibilities you have just to focus on making the right decisions and if they're not right, you say 'sorry, I'm wrong'. When we lose a game, I'm wrong."

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.