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

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
USA-Mexico: The titleholders    
Eighteen of the 23 players on Mexico's team for Saturday's Concacaf Cup have played on title-winning ...
What They're Saying: Bruce Arena    
"For the most part, the competition part of it is somewhat useless. I guess the part ...
Business Report: Michael Bradley signs with Puma    
U.S. national team midfielder Michael Bradley signed a long-term contract with Puma to wear its latest ...
USA-Mexico: Who's got the edge at each position    
Soccer is a team game, a collective test of 11-v-11, and in one of the biggest ...
NBC Deportes will air all 52 Under-17 World Cup games    
NBC Deportes will air all 52 games from the Under-17 World Cup, which kicks off Oct. ...
What They're Saying: Jason Kreis    
"I think that this is a tremendous challenge that we've embarked on and I'm not ready ...
What They're Saying: Stephen Flamhaft    
"They have not in any shape or form condemned Blazer. That's offensive to me. I'm a ...
Fox Sports and Univision ready for Concacaf Cup    
Saturday's USA-Mexico for the Concacaf Cup, on the docket for more than two months, will draw ...
Honduras stands in way of U.S. Olympic berth    
The USA, which failed to qualify for two of the last three men's Olympic soccer tournaments, ...
Video Pick: How the U.S. U-19s lost 8-1 to Germany    
It was a rough outing indeed for the U.S. defense and goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann in the ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives