By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger is the first to admit he is a 'bad loser' - because winning means so much to him.

The Arsenal manager was sent to the stands during Saturday's 2-2 draw against Portsmouth after questioning the referee's decision to award the free kick which led to the visitors' opening goal.

Not surprisingly the issue dominated Wenger's post-match press conference. The Frenchman was quick to note that Arsenal had not actually lost the game, but he accepted that his thirst for success makes him - and every other top-level manager - a 'bad loser'.

"It hurts me as much as ever when we lose games and it's the same when we drop points," said Wenger. "If you can introduce me to some good losers in this game, then I would like to meet them. There is no room for good losers here."

He added: "If you lose a game and you feel you have conceded the first goal from a wrong free kick then you do not have the right to say because you're seen as being a bad loser. I just objected because I didn't feel it was a free kick. 

"It depends what you call a bad loser. A guy who loses a game, goes home and doesn't worry overnight... I'm a very bad loser then."

Despite Arsenal's rousing comeback on Saturday, Portsmouth became the fifth Premiership side to earn a draw at Emirates Stadium. Wenger's frustration is clear but he firmly believes his current crop of players have a bright future.

"We shouldn't be impatient with this team because what they show at their age is absolutely amazing," he said. "You feel the quality is there and at the moment they are sometimes punished at a set piece or on a free kick. 

"But when you see to what level they can go it is absolutely amazing. I feel we have to keep going and anyway there is no choice but to keep pushing them. 

"For me they are promising, outstanding and for me the spirit in the team is great. They showed that again against Portsmouth and we have to be a little bit patient and deal with some defensive things a little bit better."

11/1 - Liverpool v Arsenal: Arsenal to win 2-1 in 90 minutes

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
Chris Harris 18 Dec 2006