Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Relief for Wenger after Italian escape
by Paul Kennedy, August 24th, 2011 8:55PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  arsenal, england, uefa champions league

MOST COMMENTED

[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] Once known as the "Invincibles," Arsenal's Gunners were about to become the "Invisibles," but they escaped an early exit from the UEFA Champions League when they rallied for two goals and beat Italy's Udinese, 2-1, on the road to advance to the group stage of the UEFA Champions League group for the 14th season in a row.

After the Gunners opened the 2011-12 EPL season with a draw at home and loss on the road and sold stars Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, the pressure mounted on Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

The turning point in Wednesday's game came in the 59th minute with the score tied 1-1 when Wojciech Szczesny saved Antonio Di Natale's penalty kick. Ten minutes later, Theo Walcott put the series away with a goal to make it 2-1 on the night and 3-1 on aggregate.

“There was only one team on the pitch in the second half,” said Wenger. “Szczesny’s save was the turning point at 1-1. It kept us qualified and you could see that mentally it had an impact on their belief and they were not the same team after they missed the penalty. When we finish the game with all our players, we win games.”

Wenger feels the win will lift the pressure on his players.

"There has been a little bit of pressure for Arsenal to play in the Champions League," he added, "and with the players that have left, the pressure would have increased if we had lost. There's a strong attitude and spirit inside the team."

He said Arsenal remained strong despite the criticism.

"We live in a society where everyone has an opinion on everything," he said. "I'm like someone who flies a plane for 30 years and I have to accept someone can come into the cockpit and fly it better than I do. But that's our job and we have to accept it. I would like to say that the club is in, overall, a very strong position because for 14 years on trot we play in the Champions League, we have a new stadium, a fantastic training ground, a very strong financial situation and a very strong team. Sometimes you have to take a distance from the catastrophes people have predicted."



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Herzog names U.S. U-23 squad for England game     
U.S. U-23 national team coach Andi Herzog has named a 24-player squad for a Aug. 30-Sept. ...
No Giovani dos Santos in Mexico squad    
Just weeks after joining the LA Galaxy, Giovani dos Santos is out of the team under ...
USA and Mexico will split Rose Bowl tickets    
When the USA played Mexico in the 2011 Gold Cup final at the Rose Bowl, the ...
What They're Saying: FIFA statement    
"The growth of football and the increased participation levels in the U.S. have been tremendous and ...
RSL promotes Waibel, moves Zarkos into soccer operations    
With the exit of general manager Garth Lagerwey to Seattle at the end of the 2014 ...
Chicago Fire completes Maloney transfer    
Scottish midfielder Shaun Maloney is headed back to England, ending one of the shorter Designated Player ...
Canada calls up nine MLS players to face Belize     
Forward Cyle Larin heads a list of nine MLS players chosen by Canada head coach Benito ...
NASL Roundup: Rowdies hand the reins to Stuart Campbell    
After serving one game as Tampa Bay Rowdies interim coach in the wake of the firing ...
Spirit and FCKC headed to NWSL playoffs after 0-0 tie    
With two weekends left in the NWSL's third season, the suspense is over. Seattle Reign FC ...
What They're Saying: Klaus Allofs    
"We had to take it seriously. Finally we decided to start negotiations with City." -- VfL ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives