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Page last updated at 18:38 GMT, Friday, 11 April 2008 19:38 UK

Wenger unperturbed by criticism

Arsene Wenger
Wenger has not tasted trophy success since 2005

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has shrugged off criticism over his managerial leadership this season ahead of Sunday's game with Manchester United.

Wenger's reluctance to add to his squad in January has been pinpointed by some critics as the reason for the collapse of their challenge for honours.

"I don't mind I'm questioned," said Wenger. "I prefer I'm questioned rather than the players.

"I'm in a position where you have to accept criticism. I can handle that."

Wenger added: "My position is not my problem or worry. My only worry is to be at my best every day and to act as if I will spend the rest of my life here at the club."

The Frenchman also backed his decision not to strengthen the squad in January.

I believe we do not get the credit we deserve

Arsene Wenger

"We were top of the league, the players were doing well so why disturb the team?"

Arsenal go into Sunday's game against United knowing only a win will keep alive their slim hopes of a Premier League title.

They are six points behind the leaders with only five games remaining and on Tuesday Wenger saw his side's Champions League hopes ended at Anfield against Liverpool.

With their season fizzling out there are questions over whether Wenger was right not to bring in some strength in depth during the January transfer window.


But Wenger pinpointed injuries and poor refereeing decisions as the reason behind his side's recent poor run of results.

"I believe we have been hit very hard by injuries and decisions from the referees," said Wenger. "It is part of football, we have to swallow that and we must take the criticism.

"We fight until the end of the season with teams who have spent much more money - some teams spent over 100m - and on top of that we get slaughtered so it is not easy to take.

"I believe we do not get the credit we deserve.

"We have lost a big game, we have to swallow it and be criticised maybe but not on the basic philosophy of the club.

"We have made mistakes on the field and we did on Tuesday. But this club is admired all over world for the football we play and the quality of our behaviour and I think we have been unfairly punished in the games against Liverpool."

see also
Man Utd v Arsenal
11 Apr 08 |  Premier League
'Outcast' Lehmann blasts Wenger
10 Apr 08 |  Arsenal
Wenger sticks to his guns
09 Apr 08 |  Arsenal
Liverpool 4-2 Arsenal (agg 5-3)
08 Apr 08 |  Europe

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