Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Relief for Wenger after Italian escape
by Paul Kennedy, August 24th, 2011 8:55PM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

TAGS:  arsenal, england, uefa champions league


[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



Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: David Ousted    
"If someone isn't doing their job, then we as leaders are supposed to step up and ...
USWNT: Lynn Williams' magic touch continues    
Lynn Williams helped the Western New York Flash win its first NWSL title, scoring deep into ...
MLS Injuries: Diaz out for 2016 with torn Achilles tendon    
Fate has dealt the players and coaching staff of FC Dallas a stiff challenge on the ...
MLS Moves: TFC signs former HG Delgado to new deal    
Toronto FC has signed some of the biggest names ever to play in MLS, and it's ...
CCL: Portland Timbers' ouster 'hurts'    
Portland Timbers coach Caleb Porter put it best. The Timbers' 1-1 tie with Saprissa that knocked ...
What They're Saying: Luis Enrique    
"We saw Messi play like a kid in the school playground today." -- Barcelona coach Luis ...
Roster: U.S. U-16 boys head to France    
U.S. U-16 boys national team coach Shaun Tsakiris has named a 20-player roster for the Val-de-Marne ...
What They're Saying: Howard Webb    
"I could have imagined some less-than-sympathetic person remarking, 'Can we trust Webb on a football field? ...
Video Pick: The lighter side of Jose Mourinho    
Jose Mourinho took on English comedian John Bishop in a charity joke-off for "Stand Up To ...
Survey: Coaching Compensation in the USA     
The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and Soccer America have partnered on a research ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives