Wenger defiant after cup win

21 September 2011 08:05

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger issued a defiant defence of his position after guiding the Gunners into the fourth round of the Carling Cup with a 3-1 win over Shrewsbury.

Wenger's squad have endured a miserable start to the season, and the misery around the Emirates Stadium when James Collins headed the npower League Two side a 16th minute lead. However, England defender Kieran Gibbs levelled before the break before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Yossi Benayoun wrapped things up late on.

Despite the criticism, Wenger has no intentions of letting anything deflect him from his job. Asked if he should consider bringing in a defensive expert - such as former player Martin Keown - to help shore up the backline, the Arsenal manager responded: "I have just completed 30 years of coaching. I don't want to answer this kind of question."

He added: "I am not bothered at all by this speculation. I am completely focused on doing well. I can understand that people are unhappy and criticise, but you know as well as I know people are very quick to go overboard.

"I accept critics and I do not say it doesn't matter that people criticise us, and like anybody else, I prefer it when they say I am good. When we do well we take all the plaudits, so we have to take as well all the blame when it doesn't go as well - but we have as well on both sides to take some distance.

"When it goes well we must not completely believe what people say and when it does not go as well, we must not completely believe it.

"I have just managed 14 years at this club and I have kept them 14 years in the Champions League and I hope it lasts another 14 years."

Shrewsbury manager Graham Turner had plenty of empathy for his opposite number.

The veteran former Aston Villa and Wolves boss said: "The reaction of the Arsenal supporters was terrific - they were chanting his name.

"The die-hards were here tonight and that shows you what they think of him and the respect they have for him."

Source: PA

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