Wenger defends players

Arsene Wenger apologised for his players crowding the linesman during their 1-0 win over Stoke City, but insisted they had not behaved inappropriately.

Last Updated: 03/02/13 at 07:16 Post Comment

Arsene Wenger: Defended his players' behaviour

Arsene Wenger: Defended his players' behaviour

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Several Arsenal stars rushed to the assistant after he flagged to disallow Lukas Podolski's deflected free-kick for an offside against Theo Walcott.

Referee Chris Foy correctly overruled the decision and gave the goal, prompting scathing criticism of the Arsenal players from Stoke boss Tony Pulis.

But Wenger said: "Who wouldn't do that? I am sorry if we did that, but we were trying to understand why the linesman disallowed the goal. We didn't do it in an aggressive way."

Wenger admitted he was relieved to emerge victorious from a game his side dominated but looked increasingly likely to draw. After Podolski saved the day with 12 minutes left, Wenger praised the spirit of his team.

"It was the kind of game where you draw 0-0 or win 1-0, so I am very happy we got the three points," he said.

"We didn't give up, we kept them under pressure. They were brilliant today.

"These players have a fantastic spirit and quality. We lacked belief [in the past] because we have been criticised a lot.

"The team took time to strengthen their belief, but the focus of the players is great and I am confident we will have a strong end to the season."

Lucky goal

Despite feeling his side deserved to win, Wenger admitted the goal was a fluke.

He said: "Their keeper made some fantastic saves, but we got a little bit of luck with the free-kick.

"If anyone was to win the game, it was us. We needed to keep our tempo and keep it tight. The goal was lucky, but we got what we deserved."

Victory lifted Arsenal to within one point of the top four, but Wenger insisted his side cannot afford any more blemishes this season if they are to qualify for the Champions League.

He added: "The results went our way today and it was vital to win. We know we cannot drop points."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

Footer 365

Raheem Sterling will not resume Liverpool contract talks until the summer

Raheem Sterling has confirmed that he will not resume talks over a new contract with Liverpool until the summer.

Tottenham striker Harry Kane wants to play for England U21s at European Championship says Roy Hodgson

Harry Kane wants to "finish the job" and go to the European U21 Championship this summer, according to Roy Hodgson.

Celtic manager Ronny Deila keen on new loan for Jason Denayer

Celtic manager Ronny Deila will try to persuade Jason Denayer and Manchester City to extend the centre-back's loan.

Mail Box

Is This The End Of Ex-Players As Managers?

Do massive wages and cushty TV numbers signal the end of the ex-high-profile player turned manager? Plus Liverpool fans don't actually say the 'next year' thing...

A Solution For The Premier League's 39th Game...

One morning Mailboxer solves the 39th game conundrum. Plus England were actually alright, Harry Kane is rubbish again and do Arsenal have the most embarrassing fans?

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company