Arsene Wenger back in favour with Arsenal fans
(Oliver Giroud 15, 58, Santi Cazorla 54, 88-pen)
(Ayoze Perez 63)
Arsenal fans were again singing the praises of manager Arsene Wenger as the Gunners beat Newcastle 4-1 yesterday morning (Singapore time).
And Wenger said he was content with making the majority of Arsenal fans happy after hearing his name ring around the Emirates Stadium following the impressive win.
The Arsenal manager has endured a turbulent relationship with the club's supporters this season, following disappointing defeats by Swansea, Manchester United and, most recently, Stoke City.
Banners have urged the 65-year-old to leave and, following the defeat by the Potters the previous weekend, Wenger was hit with a volley of verbal abuse as he boarded the train back to London.
But, as Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla both struck two goals in a straight-forward victory yesterday morning, the majority of fans inside the stadium showed their support for the long-serving boss.
Giroud's header put Arsenal in front at the break before Cazorla, on his 30th birthday, hit a second, with Giroud making it 3-0 shortly afterwards. The visitors pulled one back through Ayoze Perez, but, by the time Cazorla added a fourth with a late penalty, Wenger was the toast of the Emirates.
"I'm grateful for that and I enjoy it, but the most important thing is the way we play football," Wenger said of the fans singing his name.
"I think what is most important is that our fans go home happy because we have played well and won.
"My job is to win football games and make people happy.
"What happened last week - I have worked for 18 years in this country and I've been accepted by 99.9 per cent with great respect.
"I can take the 0.1 per cent and live with it. My job is to make people happy - if they are not happy, I have to live with it."
Giroud, who now has four Premier League goals for the season as Arsenal closed in on the top five, was pleased to hear the fans getting behind Wenger.
"It's nice to hear the fans supporting the boss and, obviously, it's a fantastic night for us and we're happy for that," he said.
"It's always the same when you're losing, the first one in for criticism is the boss. We will always be all together, keep the faith, keep working hard and I think there're no thoughts about changing the boss, because he's still the man for the situation.
"He is a great manager. We trust him, especially now when we are on a bad run. He has a good way of making us feel confident and keeping our heads up.'' - Wire Services.
- WENGER IN:
Arsenal spend £30 million ($62m) on Chile forward Alexis Sanchez after the World Cup, signalling Arsene Wenger's intent to build a side once again capable of challenging for the English Premier League title.
- WENGER OUT (Nov 29):
Following defeats by Chelsea and at home by Manchester United, Arsenal finally rediscover their form with a 1-0 away win at West Brom to close the gap on the top four.
But some fans have seen enough, holding aloft a large banner emblazoned with the message "Arsene, thanks for the memories, but it's time to say goodbye".
Afterwards, Wenger gives journalists a curt response to questions on the protest: "I don't comment on that," he said.
"Do I need to say it again? I don't comment on your question."
- WENGER OUT (Dec 6):
Wenger is confronted by angry Arsenal fans after the 2-3 defeat by Stoke, booed and told to "get out of my club" as he and the players boarded the train back to London.
- WENGER OUT (Dec 9):
Another anti-Wenger banner is confiscated from the visiting supporters at the Turk Telekom Arena ahead of Arsenal's Champions League tie against Galatasaray in Istanbul.
- WENGER IN (Dec 9):
The Gunners fans are later given a night to remember in Turkey as the team romp to a 4-1 win, with midfielder Aaron Ramsey scoring a superb 25-metre half-volley.
- WENGER IN (Dec 13):
Arsenal fans sing "There's only one Arsene Wenger" during the closing stages of a 4-1 win over Newcastle at the Emirates on Saturday.
'Wenger is the right man'
Former Arsenal midfielder David Hillier told talkSPORT the club's fans must be careful what they wish for as pressure mounts on Arsene Wenger.
A 2-3 defeat by Stoke City saw the Frenchman receive verbal abuse from supporters on a train after the match as they called for him to vacate the Emirates hotseat.
But Hillier has warned them they risk seeing the club lose stability if they bring a new man in to replace Wenger.
He said: "He's the right man for the job at the moment. If they bring someone else in, it will be really difficult for the club.
"A new manager might want to put his own stamp on the club and change things which I don't think the directors and the big guns at the club would accept.
"If anything, I think Arsene Wenger will take on a directorship role and have someone underneath him in the future. But I can't see that coming soon and I personally don't want to see it just yet."
- Wire Services.