10 Arsene Wenger Quotes to Define Arsenal's Season
Arsene Wenger's had a pretty good relationship with the media, and a man of his experience knows what he's talking about.
He's said a few things this season that do a good job of summing up the Gunners at various points this season.
Fans everywhere have high expectations for each upcoming season, and this one has been no different.
Unfortunately, it's been another season of ups and downs, highs and lows and, inevitably, disappointment, delusion and despair.
Let's look at each month of the season so far and pick the most defining quotes from Arsene Wenger.
*Unless otherwise stated all quotes courtesy of Arsenal.com.
On Losing Robin Van Persie
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We regret that we have lost a great player and for one simple reason—he only had one year left on his contract. He wanted to go,
There's a lot more to that Arsene Wenger said on the matter, and you can read it all here.
Technically this happened before Arsenal's first game, but what's important is that it shows what one player thought of his chances of success at Arsenal.
Yes, Robin Van Persie wanted to go. Why? He knew Arsenal still weren't in a position to win anything this season.
That's season defining in itself. The player wanted to go because he knew he'd have a better chance of silverware elsewhere.
Where is Arsenal now?
Out of the FA Cup, out of the Champions League and facing a tough battle for fourth place.
Just as Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy did before Van Persie decided it was time to get some silverware.
On the Early Season Test Against Manchester City
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How we handle the big games will decide how well we do in the championship
Arsene Wenger was definitely right in saying how Arsenal handles big games will decide how they do in the championship.
The game against Manchester City gave fans a good feeling, but results since then have left a bad aftertaste.
The Gunners record against other top-six teams is two wins, two draws and five losses. A visit from Manchester United remains.
Every game should be a big game, and the Gunners dropped points elsewhere throughout the season.
Heading into the Norwich Game
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In October the moment of truth starts for the team...Therefore of course, it’s important to be decisive and convincing.
Yes indeed. October onward was the time the moment of truth began for this Arsenal side.
After playing seven games the Gunners stood in fifth place with 12 points. Seven points off Chelsea's league-leading pace.
They also had two wins out of two in the Champions League and a convincing Capital One Cup victory over Coventry.
That quote came in an interview before the Norwich game. From that game through to the end of December the club had an overall record of eight wins, four draws and six losses.
The number of wins makes it look like a respectable run, but that's not the case. Losses to Olympiakos and Schalke in the Champions League resulted in the second-place finish and the Bayern Munich draw.
The humiliating loss to Bradford in the Capital One Cup speaks for itself, as does the weak performance against Manchester United. There's also the loss to Swansea at home.
After all that the Gunners had then played 19 games in the Premier League by the end of December and stood in fifth place with a game in hand.
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I feel, yes, of course [we are in the title race]. Why not?
Really? Not sure what to say about this quote, Mr. Wenger.
You say this after your team had to come from behind at home to tie Fulham after leading 2-0?
There's nothing wrong with having a bit of confidence, but Arsene Wenger and his players were fooling themselves if this is what they believed.
Arsenal on reputation are one of the top teams around, but that reputation has been fading thanks to the lack of performance on the pitch.
On Staying in Reach of the Premier League Leaders
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It is down to consistency.
Agreed on this one Monsieur Wenger. Too bad Arsenal haven't shown much consistency this season.
Wins over Southampton and Liverpool as well as draws to Chelsea and Manchester City would have been much better in terms of consistency.
All Talk and No Action in January Transfer Window
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Yes, I will be busy.
Now, we weren't expecting three or four additions. That would be raising our hopes too high.
For once couldn't we have seen something real and not have to satisfy ourselves with fantastical transfer rumours?
And no, Nacho Monreal doesn't count. Good a player as he is he was only brought in because of Kieran Gibbs' injury.
Arsene Wenger and Arsenal continued their path of inaction in the January transfer window instead of trying to change things to help the side.
Sure many other teams didn't make moves or failed in moves like Everton, but for the most part the other top teams didn't need to sign players.
On Arsenal's Mental State
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They want to do well and are focused, but are maybe a bit too respectful in the big games. Every time we start to show what we can do, the game is already lost. That is what we have to change.
I shake my head ruefully. There's a couple of other words to substitute for respectful in that quote, but we'll leave that to your imagination.
The aforementioned record of two wins, two draws and five losses against the big sides speaks for itself.
That's without mentioning the first-leg against Bayern Munich, and we might as well add the second-leg in there too.
More on Arsenal's Mental State
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I think we have a great team but Saturday shows that we still have to show more maturity on the mental front. We have to understand what it means to win big games.
Not so sure about the great team part, but the rest is definitely true.
Okay, just kidding, relax.
Those are just a couple of many examples of Arsenal collapsing in big games.
Confidence Is Needed
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Every team needs confidence to express its potential.
A good point again, Mr. Wenger. When has Arsenal been confident this season?
We're not talking about the misguided confidence of winning the Premier League title here but a general belief that the side has a chance in each game, especially the big ones.
The start of the season up until the loss to Norwich was probably when the team played its best and looked the most confident.
Again, the tie with Manchester City stands out as an important reminder of that.
After an up-and-down run of games the confidence was rebuilt a bit in another decent run toward the end of December. That run died out just as quickly.
Losses or unfortunate draws have halted the Gunners in their tracks at various points this season, and maybe that's what it comes down to.
A confident Gunners side showed what they could do at the start of the season and maybe, just maybe, things could be different if the ball bounced another way one or two times.
On the Battle for a Top Four Spot
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It will be a massive challenge, massive.
After the loss against Tottenham, of course.
It was always going to the case that Arsenal was stuck challenging for fourth this season.
The battle wasn't expected to be as tough but that's what you get sometimes, Mr. Wenger.
At least we'll have only the Premier League to concentrate on after Wednesday's annihilation at the hands of Bayern Munich.