Press conference

'We live with criticism - it's how we respond now'

As the longest-serving manager in the Premier League, Arsene Wenger is well-accustomed to the criticism that follows following a defeat.

The Arsenal boss was asked about some of the comments that were made after the Carabao Cup final reverse against Manchester City, and this is what he said:

on the criticism and his response…
Look, we have to live with that. It’s part of the modern game. People who comment, their job is to comment, so you have to live with that. What is important is how we respond, how we analyse the game and how we respond in a united way. All the rest is part of the game that you have to live with. It doesn’t help us to win or lose the next game. What helps us to win the next game is how we respond internally together.

on what gives him belief in his players…
The belief? You cite only the games we have lost, but we have won many games. What you forget is we were in the final. Nobody has put us in there on invitation. We had to fight very hard, we had to knock Chelsea out in the semi-final, over two games. That shows you that the team has quality and can fight. It was two tough games. We have not played weak opponents to get into the final. It’s not available for everybody to get there. After that, you have to say as well that we played against a team who dominate the Premier League by 15 points, so you know that you go into a final nobody can guarantee you to win. You can win and lose - you have not to accept it but you know as well that can be part of the game.

on the effort the players made against Man City...
Yes, of course [they gave me everything]. I am long enough in the game to know that when you lose a big game, people always say that the players don't want it enough - that is a common response that you get, you always get that. You have to analyse whether that is the serious problem in the game, did we lose the game because of that - I am not convinced. When there is a big difference like 3-0 you always get that impression. For me, it is not the main reason.

on criticism of the players walking...
Yes, but you could find that on both sides. You can always get out pictures from a game that justifies what you think, you find in every single game, on both sides, moments where a player doesn't track. After you have to analyse why, has he made two runs before to go in behind and was exhausted, or did he not track because he didn't want to? That is different. I believe we have t live with that criticism and respond together like we always do. We got to the final and you don't get there by coincidence, you have to fight to get there and we did. We didn't play against a poor team in the semi-final, we played against Chelsea and we have shown that we can fight. You have to acknowledge as well that Man City are a quality team.`

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