Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger: Drama over job status ‘is becoming a farce’
Arsenal were beaten 2-1 by in their quarter-final clash on Sunday afternoon, bringing to an end a 37-month unbeaten streak in the competition which has seen Wenger lift the trophy in the past two seasons.
A hat-trick of wins was not to be as Odion Ighalo and Adlene Guedioura struck in the second-half for Watford, with a late Danny Welbeck goal only acting as consolation for Arsenal.
It was not the way Wenger would have wanted to start a pivotal week in not only the club’s season but in his whole 19-year reign as boss.
More and more fans appear to be losing faith in the Frenchman after seeing their side slip from top of the Premier League table at the turn of the year to potentially facing a fight to finish in the top four.
Wenger now takes his team to Barcelona, needing to overturn a 2-0 first-leg defeat to advance into the last eight of the Champions League.
He batted away speculation over his future last week as ‘boring’ before admitting ahead of the Watford clash that he will never be able to please all of the Arsenal supporters.
But, with more questions raised once again over his ability to guide Arsenal to silverware, the 66-year-old labelled such suggestions as farcical.
“What is going on at the moment is very, very difficult to take for the players but judge us at the end of the season,” he said.
“We have come to the end of a very, very long run in the FA Cup, so it is very sad, but we want now to focus on the next game.
“The next game is always a big challenge and you are always in the middle of a drama. It is becoming a farce.
“We have lost a game. We are sad and we want to focus on the next game.
“Arsenal has lost games before in history and we will lose again in the future. We will stick together and cope with it and prepare for the next one with complete belief.
“Supporters stand behind the club and we want to fight until the end of the season for every single game.”
While Wenger remains on the defensive, Quique Sanchez Flores continues to enjoy a growing standing in the English game having taken over at Watford in the summer.
He has guided them close to Premier League safety and, despite winning trophies at Benfica and Atletico Madrid (as well as UAE clubs Al Ahli and Al Ain), has now hailed an FA Cup semi-final place with Watford as a highlight.
He said: “I think this is the most important moment of my career.
“We try to enjoy this moment, this journey, this team, we now get to play in the semi-final at Wembley.
“This season is an amazing season for Watford, the players play for the fans. For a long time we played well, trying to create attempts.
“For 80 minutes we were, not comfortable because we were playing Arsenal but we are in the plan. The last minutes were difficult but we mixed it well.”
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Published: March 14, 2016 04:00 AM