According to Mikel Arteta, Arsene Wenger was the angriest he has ever saw him on Saturday. Who can blame him?
Four nil down after 20 minutes, Arsene Wenger was bound to be furious.
Not known as a manager who explodes in the dressing room, when he does, it’s bound to have that much more of an effect. The game was, of course, already lost but it’s not the first time that the manager has had to raise his voice at the Arsenal players at Anfield during the half-time team talk.
Back in 2009 Samir Nasri revealed that Arsene Wenger told them they were not fit to wear the Arsenal shirt when they were losing 1-0 to Liverpool, prompting a comeback on that occasion that was, inevitably, beyond his side this weekend.
In 2009 Nasri said
‘I’ve never seen the boss screaming like that before. Normally when we are behind he tries to highlight the positives about our play.
‘But there was nothing positive this time. He just yelled. I didn’t think he was capable of screaming like that.
‘He told us we did not deserve to wear the Arsenal shirt, and he was right.’
Now, after this weekend’s debacle, Mikel Arteta told the media
“We have had two big crises already.
“I think the Manchester United defeat was a different game to this, but City and this one are really hard to take.
“We have to react because there is nothing we can do about this now. We know we need to improve and face those games in a different manner because after 19 minutes we were 4-0 down and it was like a car crash.
“The manager was really upset at half-time, that’s normal because it wasn’t good enough for this football club.
“It was the angriest I have seen him.“
In an interview with the French press, Arsene Wenger pulled no punches. He said
“We were feeble in every important aspect of playing at the highest level: concentration, strength in the challenge and naivety.
“So from that moment on it’s impossible to win a game when you’re playing at that level.
“We’ve been well beaten twice now, and twice with an early kick-off away from home.
“But we have to ask questions of ourselves about this. Because when you’re playing in a big game and the first two free-kicks go in it becomes very hard, because you have to open the game up and you’ve got more chance of letting in eight or 10 than you have of getting back in the game.”
Arsenal have a chance to show that they have learned from the weekend’s disaster when Manchester United turn up at the Emirates on Wednesday night. Should Arsenal wish to stop this blip turning in to a slide they will need to turn up – for both halves of the game for a change.