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Wenger to journalists: “Your job is to get everybody to suffer.”

By Tony Attwood

As a simple one liner I thought it was brilliant.   I don’t know what the journalists did in response but the follow up line from Mr Wenger wasn’t really needed.  He’d made his point.

“Your job is to get everybody to suffer,” he said, adding, “Our job is to get as few people to suffer as possible.”

And yes, the sheer unadulterated tedium of most writing about football does need breaking up sometimes.  As for balance that went long ago.   By rights, the amount of hysteria as we reached three defeats in a row should be balanced by some equal hysteria about three wins in a row.  But of course not.

What we have is a lot of talk about a controversial penalty, and the fact that players will be leaving in the summer.  I could have done with a little more about the fact that a cat ran on the pitch at Besiktas and now Uefa have charged the cat with bringing the game into disrepute.  Or maybe the club.  Or maybe themselves.  Certainly they have charged someone, because… well that is what they do.

But if we are suffering what about the fans of Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea.   They are Premier League teams near the top so they must be good mustn’t they.  (I know they are good because the paper were telling me so until very recently).  And yet none is going to win either the Champions League or the Premier League.

And do you know what?  It doesn’t matter because they are in the top four.   Yes that is what has been said of late.  After it being decreed in the Blog of Genesis and subsequently everywhere else, that Top 4 is Not a Trophy, we find out that when Arsenal are not in the Top Four it was a trophy after all.

But I have to say, given the choice between staying in the Europa League and being knocked out of the Champions League already I think I would choose what we have.   Do you remember all the wild ravings and rantings at the start of this season about the fact that the Premier League had five teams in the Champions League, and none of them were Arsenal, so we were going to be spared the embarrassment of an early exit?

Of course Manchester City and Liverpool are still there and could play anyone including each other in the next round.  Here is the list of teams…

  • Manchester City, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Roma, Sevilla, Juventus, Barcelona, Bayern Munich

But seriously, if we had made it to the top four last season, I doubt that we would have done much better than the majority of teams that did make it simply because that is the level of the Premier League.  The teams that go through and win and those sponsored by and large by nation states, or have such utter dominance in their own league that no one can now touch them.  So sorry Liverpool, Roma, Sevilla I think you are done for already.

And the people most likely to stop Manchester City (other than one of other remaining teams) is Fifa and the Court of Arbitration for Sport, who really do seem to be getting quite excited.  “Fifa expands investigation into Manchester City over possible breach of rules over foreign trainees” is just one of the headlines.  Someone at Fifa really doesn’t like the City Group and it seems to me they have been preparing for this multi-pronged approach for some time.

Anyway, we are into the quarters, along with Altetico Madrid, Lazio, Leipzig, Olympique Marseille, Sporting Lisbon and CSKA Moscow.   If we get CSKA will the club give the away support those all over coveralls with gas masks?

 

40 comments to Wenger to journalists: “Your job is to get everybody to suffer.”

  • ron de jonge

    Even the caption of Welbecks goal read: a penalty that never should been given.When Arsenal s on the nice end of disputable ref decisions, presse and plundits suddenly decide they know Exactly whats fair and not. Wait until Kane dives for England, everybody will praise him for that. The fact that an English team advanced with an English striker isnt reason for cheering cause an arsenal player alllegedly dived. But when Aguero pushes Mustafi, and scores a goal, when Bournemouth see the equaliser against spuds dismissed by the ref for the same push. When Kane and Ali keep diving like olympic swimmers and spuds coach encouraging it. Nobody speaks out. They really really have it in for Arsenal . Arsenal fans and supporters should take that into account judging the results. Thanks for getting the message out and keep up the good work Tony! Cheers!

  • Pat

    I loved this article till the last sentence. Not the time or place surely, Tony!

  • knobby

    Besiktas also got charged with blocked staircases, we got charged with that against FC Koln and I noticed another a few weeks back another club got charged too.

    Blocked staircases, is it a joke or some secret code from UEFA?

  • Polo

    ‘Blog of Genesis’ I couldn’t stop laughing.

    ‘Crisis’,‘ meltdown’,‘no ambition’, ‘lack of fight’, ‘spineless’ will be back if we lose next game.

  • Gooner Mikey

    I mentioned the furore about our penalty on my FB page last night openly admitting from the outset that I didn’t believe it was a penalty. I said how miffed I was that this was all the media seemed to concentrate on yet they said nothing about the blatant one we were denied when Mhiki was clearly fouled against Watford.

    So what replies did I get on my FB page? A post of a link to a Pires “dive” over a decade ago.

    FFS Alli, Rooney, Young and numerous others dive several times a game but when people go on about Arsenal diving they have to go back to Pires (or Eduardo against Celtic).

    Why the hell are we pilloried for something that we rarely do when others are diving every game and nothing is said. It’s a complete and utter joke.

  • Chris

    So off to Moscow we go

  • Polo

    ManC vs Liverpool in CL, well at least one English team definitely going to the semi-final.

  • Polo

    Interesting time, Arsenal vs CSKA Moscow, should Arsenal boycott the match?

  • ARSENAL 13

    maskaw

  • GoingGoingGooner

    With all the noise that will surround the Man City Liverpool matches we will likely slip under the radar. Not bad, IMO. Just let us get on with it.

  • Josif

    Arsenal v CSKA Moscow. Interesting draw.

    CSKA (Centralnij Sportivnij Klub Armiji or Central Sport Club of Army) are their military club. In a way, there is some far-fetched connection with Arsenal, eh.

    Anyway, CSKA have played Champions League this season and finished third in their group, behind Man United and Basel, above Benfica. Manchester United have beaten them both times – 4-1 in Moscow, 2-1 in Manchester.

    Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored fourth goal for United in Moscow which means he might become a rare example of a player who scored goals for two different teams against the same opponents in a European competition during the same season.

    Their first opponents in Europa League were our group opponents Crvena Zvezda. CSKA won 1-0 in Moscow after a 0-0 draw in Belgrade – similar results to ours (1-0 in Belgrade, 0-0 in London).

    In Ro16 they have beaten Olympique Lyon 3-2 in France to secure a surprising progress to quarterfinals. They had been written off after Lyon had won in Moscow 1-0. Judging by the stats from both legs, Lyon were superior team but CSKA were more prolific. A bit like our tie with Monaco in 2014-15, then.

    Their back-line of Berezutskiy twins, Ignasevich and Akinfeev is about 700 years old. My subjective feeling is that four of them have been playing together since Arsene’s playing days. In fact, they all played in our only two previous meetings in 2006-07!

    Interesting players: Alan Dzagoev, probably the most talented Russian since Andrey Arshavin, and Alexandr Golovin, a player we have been reportedly interested since the days of Bertie Mee sent two spy-pidgeons over The Iron Curtain to scout them.

    Previous meetings: CSKA have been a rare team that have never lost to Arsene’s Arsenal – one victory and a draw for them in 2006-07. CSKA won thanks to Daniel Carvalho’s goal in Moscow, at the Emirates it finished 0-0. And we had Henry, Van Persie, Hleb, Rosicky, Fabregas…back then.

  • Chris

    Well I’ll be giving my vote to Pool!! this time. Would be nice to see them win this one.

  • Gord

    A game or two back, Monreal went down and whorenalists called it a dive. A short while later, Monreal had to be substituted because he couldn’t continue playing from the “trivial contact” that he chose to “embellish”.

    Last night, we lost Koscielny for some reason. Today I read that Koscielny got kicked in the back. None of the whorenalists felt there was a foul in Koscielny getting kicked hard enough, that he had to be substituted early in the game.

  • jw1

    @Gord–
    Didn’t appear that Kos was ‘kicked’. Saw the play (and replays)– he went up for a corner/header, was contacted and landed off-balance and awkwardly on one foot. Immediately grabbed his lower back with both hands. Was surprised he continued– as it looked a classic ‘wrenched back’– a spine/nerve issue.

    jw1

  • knobby

    Mourinho just gave a 12 minute answer to a question in his press conference, the media are lapping it up saying he is up for the fight. .
    Clever distraction tactics because of his failure…or one step away from being sectioned?

  • Gord

    I don’t know jw1. It was a quote from one of Wenger’s interview questions.

    https://www.arsenal.com/news/whats-latest-laurent-koscielnys-fitness

    “He got a kick on his back,” said Arsene Wenger. “We don’t think it’s bad but he cramped up and he couldn’t go on.”

    Could he have been kicked before that, and the awkward landing aggravated it further?

  • So Barcelona didn’t get Roma, but other than that it seems UEFA have opted for the progression of Real, along with the likely winners from the afore mentioned game, I.e. Barcelona, who will look to kill the tie in the first leg.

    Meanwhile Juve will be out for revenge but possibly pulled the worst team for them in terns of head to head natch ups, other than City.

    Although City will be looking to progress beyond their opposite numbers from the Qtr final draw, and will undoubtedly be looking at that 4-3 loss with a renewed sense of the need desire to apply themselves to the yak at hand, after their unbeaten run was end at the hands of the Reds from Merseyside.

    Bayern will be hot favourites to progress having pulled the competition last remaining clear underdogs.

    All in all it would be somewhat of an upset if we didn’t see Real and Barcelona in the semis, along with the Germans choice representatives.

    Liverpool and City will both fancy themselves given their recent encounters and this could very well be the choice tie, with Reald clash with Juventus also a tasty prospect as the previous seasons finalist clash a little earlier this time around.

    It would seem that the 3 heavyweights are most likely to progress. Ans in all honesty I very much doubt Liverpool can win over two legs against the Premier Leagues runaway leaders.

    These quarters are more likely to be decided by firepower and defensive fragility then grit and intent whether offensive or defensive.

    That said; the EL is set up nicely to see all four favourites make the semis, Athletico will be given a closer examination of their title credentials against Sporting, but will surely be expected to trump them fairly comfortably, with Sporting not having the most prolific forward line.

    Similarly Marseille who made light work of the last round will expect to see of the challengers from Germany who although struggling domestically, have already seen of Dortmund who find themselves back in amongst the CL spots. The little league big hitters may look back at some of the scalps collected and have other ideas.

    With Lazio arguably getting then facourable tie, they will hope to progress, but with both Milanese clubs sniffing around that final CL spot, could the balancing act of league and Cup prove too much? It is unlikely they will win the competition, but equally top four is far from guaranteed, with the three team she above, headed by Juve and their now 3 point gap a little too distant to be realistically drawn into a dog fight with a mere ten games remaining. This could prove an interesting spectacle for the neutrals.

    Last but by no means least Arsenal play the opening game ignore their Qtr final tie at home and will look for a fast start and dominant score line, before the long haul to the Russian Capital, with tensions between England and Russian mounting, couldn’t a closed door game be on he cards.

    Arsenal may well hope so, a solid victory at home before a subdued second leg could afford them a little restbite with domestic matters not yet decided and fixtures favouring the club with the guile to put together a good run.

    The question remains, have The Arsenal turned the corner? Did they hit form too late for a title challenge, but just in token to make a fist of the EL and an outside chance at making top four if only 2 of Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs take their eye Ogbomosho the ball.

    With Kane absent for at least 4 weeks, and a very real prospects of illusive silverware for Spurs, Liverpool facing a double header against City who they brought to a shuddering game halt in their quest for an unbeaten season, before they too lost the opportunity at that coveted quadruple. And Chelsea also unable to win anything but the sameness Cup Spurs will be salivating over. All three will certainly have eyes wondering from league to Cup competitions and back again.

    My warning to all three would be mind you don’t drop the ball, in fact be wary you don’t drop all the balls, Jose and husband anti football will gen prowling much more than the technical area and abroad with United also looking near safe in terms of CL qualification and the so called ‘Boreinho’ more than aware that an FA Cup would severely turn down the growing heat.

    With the Bundesliga settled, along with La Liga and the Premership, fortune seems tonfavour quality and money, with a dose of non competitiveness in the league. Juventus may well worry., but with CL qualification not assured for Liverpool or Roma, the managers face a tough question, stick or twist.

    Whilst Sevilla unlikely to breach the gap, will be sure to test Bayern’s resolve. And City have nothings elsr to worry about, almost sure to pick up the few remaining points to secure their second trophy and be crowned PL kings.

    Similarly in the EL Marsielle won’t be making the top four but as with Sevilla still want to guarantee European football next season. Where as Lazio will be looking over their shoulder in the league and may approach the EL a little more pragmatically than others, as could be the case with Sporting who sit just adrift the leaders and CL spots.

    Where as Leipzig will have nothing to lose and Willy surely give the EL priority, Similarly Athletics are unlikely to fail in their top four bid, but may see a second place finish as worth holding onto, a second evidence of progression when considering future acquisitions and staving off interest in key personnel.

    meanwhile the Austrian league leaders although 8 points clear will also face similar questions to the remaining EL contestants, with matters still a little way from settled or likely to be settled come the next round.

    It really does seem that mega bucks buy you titles, but one might counter that and say it’s winter breaks and limited league competition or a gulf in class that buys you CL titles.

    Although, City, United, PSG, Real Andy Juventus might argue otherwise. Son might I, it may be that, money certainly helps, and enjoying a gulf in class adds to that, but an attitude from the manager Andy something inatenin his charges may also be of great importance along with something called reputation.

    The headline reads Arsene wants to avoid the favorites, i thought he chuckled knowingly not and said anyone would right now, but we’ll take whoever.

    Perhaps we are of the same opinion, meeting them in the semis or final could afford us one last roll of the dice in our quest for top four,. Both of us God fearing men, may instill faith in something more, also aware that the winds are changing fair and The Arsenal look to be just picking up a rate of knots, with Lacazette loookg much happier after what appears to be successful surgery.

    If either my account gets opened or my new found friend isn’t true to his word allowing me to send a few pounds to his account. I do believe, I will put my money where my mouth is and back Arsenal for top four, Liverpool am deathly Chelsea to miss amen Wenger to pick up his first European trophy.

    We are entering the realm of what we do!

    That trio, with Ozil am disappointed Mikhi off and Auba pushed on by Lacazette and visa versa. That looks sweet. What we need is a bench am deathly rotation. And some defensive suplimemts.

    But for all intents and purpose I see the start of a very good 11.

    IWIT

    COYG

    For the Quad we build!

    We don’t stick or twist, we get the job done every game every tie early, that is the Arsenal way’

    8 PL wins

    Unbeaten in 5 EL fixtures.

    Oh look Lynn number 13! 😉

  • PTO

    Other English divers get equal media treatment, but folk here don’t take any notice. Both Gary Neville & Martin Samuel’s have recently hinted that Ali should not be selected to play for England until he gets it out of his game. Not that anybody has taken any notice.
    We’ve not had a serial diver since Anders Limpar (even though Pires & Veiera were guilty a few times), so it does become an issue, especially since Welbeck is such a clean player and decent bloke who you wouldn’t expect to do such a thing. And he made such a mess of it that it is meme worthy.

  • bam

    Tony I have a few things to say
    1. I remember an article you wrote just before arsenal played Liverpool in the ?s/f of the 2014 fa cup. The article was about how to bring back relevance to a dead competition, the FA cup. This was in those days when arsenal couldn’t win a cup to save their lives. I remember clearly your opinion that the FA cup should be allowed to continue on its path natural death, and that moves to revitalize it like giving its winners a path to the champions league, was trying to flog a dead horse to life. Now we’re winning it and it suddenly is a vibrant and major tournament. Well and good but don’t make it out like its others that shift the goal posts. Its the same thing you’re doing with the Europa league. By all means its a worthy tournament, but don’t forget how many times in the past you’ve celebrated arsenal at least getting to the last 16 of the champions league, while mocking the tiny totts for only getting in the non-entity Europa lge.
    2ndly, I can’t count how many times you have insulted the Spanish league as a 2team league, yet its strange that even arsene Wenger hopes to avoid a nonentity, non competitive team that’s not among the 2teams in the 2team league, in athletico Madrid. The point I’m trying to make with these facts is that, being humble about the strength of your team is good, instead of looking at belittling other teams/ leagues in a bid to make excuses for your team’s failures.

  • PTO

    jw1
    You’re right. Kos was not kicked at any time he was on the pitch, and like you say injured himself landing after a very high jump at a corner.
    I really don’t know why people are looking for a foul on him.
    It.did.not.happen.

  • jw1

    @Gord–
    Possibly then. I saw him crouched down just before he went off.
    Most times there’s a replay– but didn’t see one with a kick to his back.
    I did have the thought when he landed awkwardly– that he probably shouldn’t/wouldn’t continue.

    jw1

  • Gord

    Did I see that Pochettino has hailed Dele Alli as the world’s best young DIVER?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I guess that a backlash of some sort is to be expected , since two weeks ago Arsenal were in meltdown and England were about to have the hitherto unheard prospect of having 5 EPL teams in the quarterfinals of the CL , but then a fortnight on , only one English team will be in the semifinals !

    Gone are all those mouthwatering prospects of numerous articles and jibes of shafting the Arsenal. And bang right out of the window goes all that jokes and sly innuendos that were all but ready for print .

    So back to the pub .., sorry drawing board to re-imagine new angles to resume the bashing.
    I am so looking forward to the next few weeks to all the prattle!

  • Gord

    PTO I suggest you take it up with Wenger, as HE was the person who said Kos got kicked in the back.

  • jw1

    @Gord, PTO–

    Maybe Arsene said ‘nick’ and wasn’t properly transcribed. As likely as anything!

    jw1

  • Nitram

    Gooner Mikey

    “So what replies did I get on my FB page? A post of a link to a Pires “dive” over a decade ago.”

    Exactly.

    But he’s a serial diver don’t you know ?

    Well that’s what we keep getting told. And when we do, I tell people to prove it. They cant.

    If you google Gerrard dives. Rooney dives. Kane dives. Alli dives. There are loads.

    Google Pires and you get the Pompy one and one when he was playing for France. And one nearer the touch line than the penalty box against Man United at OT, so hardly trying to win a penalty. Debatable it was a dive anyway.

    THATS IT.

    Ok 2/3 dives is 2/3 too many for some people but hardly proof of the ‘serial’ diver we are lead to believe he was. And nothing like the above.

    Didn’t Bale get half a dozen yellows for diving in a couple of years ?

    As with all these things Gooner, nobody denies we’ve EVER had a player dive, but the reaction when we do is massively over the top, which is direct contrast to how others are underplayed.

  • Gord

    I suppose its possible jw1

    Another thought I had, is perhaps he was kicked in warmup, or the previous day in training?

  • Nitram

    Diving

    I don’t like it either. But jeeez lads, some of you are so OTT.

    Rather lose? Ashamed?

    FFS lads. Some perspective please.

    I’ve said on here many times, as much as I don’t like diving it is up to the ‘professional’ referees and there assistants to spot it. Like they have to spot deliberate fouls. Like they have to spot deliberate hand balls.

    It’s not that hard. Loads of you on here immediately saw last nights penalty as a blatant dive, so why didn’t the officials?

    Either it wasn’t a dive, or the officials are crap, right?

    I’m going with the officials are crap option, so surely that’s the problem ?

    What I do have an issue with is how, in the PL, certain teams are given the type of penalty we were awarded last night on a regular basis, were as we seem to have to be broken in half, and then we still don’t always get them.

    And even worse is how the media blow any dive, real or otherwise, we are involved in, totally and utterly out of proportion, whilst on the other hand, down playing similar situations with other teams players.

    Yes, diving is cheating, but fouling is cheating isn’t it?

    I see dozens of deliberate fouls in every match, but it’s just accepted as part of the game.

    I regularly see players taken out with what used to be called a ‘professional’ foul, and often as not it’s applauded as ‘clever’ or ‘taking one for the team’.

    So can someone tell me why that sort of ‘cheating’ is ok, even applauded, yet diving is seen as a heinous crime?

    I’ll tell you why.

    Diving is seen as something brought to these shores by those nasty little foreigners, where as kicking people is all part of the good old fashioned ‘bulldog’ spirit.

    Sorry but I just think this ‘British’ obsession with diving is ridiculous.

    There are so many other things in football to get worked up about.

  • jw1

    @Nitram–
    The officials could have done better, granted.
    And did so later when they didn’t call Chambers for a PEN. Furthered my opinion of them a tad later– when they YCd Suso for diving.
    The officials improved quickly– during the match– what’s more to ask?
    (OK. OK. Tongue-firmly-in-cheek.)

    However, the defender Ricardo Rodriguez did reach an entire arm’s length to contact Welbeck– however slight. That’s a foul by any definition. Intentional too. Was the PEN awarded commensurate to the contact? Most say no.

    I was live-blogging at the time– and commented:
    “We never get those calls.”

    Arsenal never do. There’s the real surprise. That we did.

    jw1

  • PTO

    Gord
    If Wenger says he was kicked then that’s it isn’t it? Cast in stone!
    Wenger who never ‘sees’ anything saw a kick. I saw the same match and am certain he did not get kicked in the back.

  • Nitram

    jw1

    Personally I feel there was contact.

    Was it enough to bring him down ? I very much doubt it. At least not with the contact on the upper body.

    But did he ‘feel’ the contact and go down? Possibly, and if he did, I have heard that defended many times when other players have done it. You even hear them called ‘clever’ fordoing so.

    Was he ‘clipped’ ? Maybe, but I haven’t seen any angles that show he was.

    Whatever way I look at it, it was ‘soft’.

    I obviously cant prove this, but I feel if that was AGAINST us, BTS and ITV would of been falling over themselves to find the teeniest contact in order to justify it. Rest assured they’d of had that old magnifying glass out.

  • Nitram

    PTO

    Why the Wenger ‘never sees it’ jibe?

    Are you suggesting he’s the only one that ever says that?

  • Chris

    @PTO,

    12 minutes solo justifications from Boorinho on why MU did not go further in the CL.
    Just read it.

    Here’s a little bit of it

    “The last victory was 2012-13 and in the four consecutive seasons United finish seventh, fourth, fifth and sixth. So in the last four years the best was fourth. This is football heritage.”

    Can anyone tell me the positions and trophies of Arsenal in the same period.

    Yet the journalist (in the Guardian) at no point says anything negative. I can’t imagine the shitstorm were Mr Wenger do something not closely as self-serving as Boorinho.

    And now everyone is going after M. Wenger for a dubious penalty and an injury – both of which are totally out of his perimeter of responsibility. Don’t you guys have something else to do then psycho-analyse a few words searching for a negative slant ? Like, I don’t know, enjoy 2 victories against AC Milan and a spot in the last 8 ?

    And by the way, whre is the ‘all envens out at the end’ argument ? Gone because in this case it would be in Arsenal’s favour ?

  • knobby

    Please let’s not have double standards it doesn’t look great. If Welbeck dived we need to stamp that out of our game, se need to be whiter than white. Welbeck has surely learned a lesson you cannot get away with anything with the scrutiny that we have at the Arsenal just like Walcott did when he tried it.
    When opposing fans have to go back decades to find examples of our players cheating, yet we only have to watch MOTD every week to see Kane and Alli diving says everything you need to know a out our club and Arsene Wenger.

  • PTO

    @Nitram
    Wenger has very selective vision which he applies to each and any situation. Of course he’s no different to others in this respect, so I’m not differentiating.
    @Chris
    I’m not sure what your 8.20 rant has to do with me or anything I’ve said.

  • Nitram

    PTO

    Oh dear.

    Not the sharpest tool in the box are we.

  • PTO

    Nitram
    Just back from the pub are we?

  • Va Cong

    @PTO Zzzzz…

  • Gord

    OT: Coquelin out for surgery

    He apparently ruptured an Achilles tendon. I wish him the best in getting back for Valencia.

  • Menace

    Penalty? It was a penalty because the official gave it. The more on official that looks down the line saw the contact & subsequent ‘trip’.

    WTF is the matter with your eyes!! Welbeck was clipped on the right ankle, that went across to his left leg and he fell as he didn’t have anything to support his weight going forward. Look and see rather than assume. It is so fucking easy to be observant if it were a nude. Look at the contact with Welbecks right ankle!!

    Now all you blind idiots should apply to PGMOL for a job – they have a few like you!!

    Questioning the integrity of Welbeck is blatant idiocy.