Arsenal chief coach Arsene Wenger on Wednesday demanded a strong response from his side as they face a tough English Premier League (EPL) clash against Manchester City on Thursday, who had thrashed them on Sunday in the English Football League (EFL) Cup final.
Pep Guardiola-coached City, who are outright EPL title favourites after having a 13-point advantage, got their first title of the season on Sunday with a 3-0 victory over Arsenal.
Placed sixth in the EPL table, Arsenal have 45 points — 27 less than City, a squad that has looked unstoppable so far.
“Well, when you do not get the result, it’s part of our job,” Wenger said, as quoted by Arsenal’s website, when asked about how he aims to lift his side for the face-off.
“Part of our job is to respond and to focus on the next game. You want only to win games, it’s not always possible, so it’s the way you respond,” the veteran French tactician, who has been asked to resign by groups of fans and some former players of the club, added.
“I believe that (we need to) analyse well, focus on the next one and respond together in a united way, which is part of our philosophy at the club.”
Wenger said that they need to play against City without fear. “I felt it was a very tight game until 2-0 (on Sunday). When you look at the end of the game, Man City had three shots on target and we had two. So overall, I believe that we have to turn the decisive moments in our favour (this time) and play with more freedom than we did,” he was quoted as saying by arsenal.com.
“I think we played a bit apprehensively and that is important that we go into the game with that force that is part of our game and our philosophy.”
Wenger, however, admitted that they lost to a superior team. “It looks like we have lost against bottom of the league in division five. We have lost against a team that dominates English football at the moment,” he said.
“Yes we are unhappy, yes we are disappointed, yes we are not happy with our performance. But we have to take perspective and I think that means sitting back a little bit, analysing it well with a distance and then coming in and committing for the next game.”