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Captain Planet

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Saturday was a joke


everyone is to blame including the fans and the club


for those type of nothing matches, they need to make the ticket prices cheaper to drum up the atmosphere


who the hell wants to pay £50 to see Grant Hanley & his boys stroll into town to park the bus?




I'm going back to calling #27 'Yao Kouassi' as his performances haven't warranted me calling him a Brazilian influenced nickname



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Q: If this is your last chance to win a trophy this season...

AW: [sarcastically] Thank you very much for that question. It's a long time that we didn't answer it.


Q: But can you talk about your desire to bring back trophies to the club?

AW: Look, I have been accused of not taking seriously the FA Cup on Saturday … I have won four times the FA Cup. Who has won it more? Give me one name.


Q: I haven't accused you of not taking it seriously, I am just asking you …

AW: OK. Then, the second thing is we have been accused of not putting out a strong team. That is an insult to the players who started the game because we had 11 internationals on the pitch. I would like to tell you as well that we did not lose the game with the players who started. We lost it in the last 20 minutes so there are a lot of superficial analyses that you cannot accept … Because one guy says something, everybody goes the same way.


Q: The question is about your desire to win the Champions League. It is there, isn't it?

AW: No, no. I want to lose it and I want to lose the game tomorrow, so you can all be happy. Of course we want to win it but in Europe, recently, you face as well some other teams who have quality. Barcelona has some qualities, Real Madrid has some qualities and they don't win it every year. We have been consistently there. And now we want to break through. We have been in the final and consistently in the quarter-final, semi-finals, for years. People will say it is not the best opportunity now to do it, I think it is a fantastic opportunity because I feel I have a strong team. And I am sure they will prove me right.


Wenger breaks to talk to the daily newspapers. Here are the main points.


Q: The [sun] story was a positive one?

AW: Why does it just come out when we lose a big game? In your opinion? You think I am so naive that I don't see what is behind that? You think I am a complete idiot?


Q: Do you feel that there is unfinished business with the Champions League?

AW: Of course, it is unfinished business as long as we don't win it. But if I say to you we will win it this season, you will laugh at me because we just lost against Blackburn. But it can happen. Unfortunately, in football, it is less predictable than that. It is not mathematical.


Q: Tell us why a team that has lost to Blackburn and Bradford can beat Bayern Munich?

AW: Do you think really that Bayern Munich has never lost against a smaller club in Germany? Man United, against Division Three … they have lost. It can happen. What I find is absolutely unbelievable is that when it happens to me, it is a complete storm. You know why? Because in 16 years, it never happened.


Q: Will it suit Arsenal to be the underdogs?

AW: We are underdogs, yes. You just have to read the English press and you understand that.


Q: You have beaten some fantastic teams over the years?

AW: In Europe, we have beaten everybody, which is what people forget. And we are the only team that has gone into a [Champions League] final without conceding a goal, despite the fact that we have never a good defensive record.


Q: What do you need to improve on from these last few weeks?

AW: You have heard Arteta. He sums it up well. We are champions of England in the second half, and in the first half, no. For psychological reasons. Because we fight the whole season against everybody hunting here [in press conferences] ... 'The players are not good enough, buy players and all that', but one day, you will realise that this team has fantastic qualities.


Q: What do you put that first-half, second-half contrast down to?

AW: Psychological.


Q: But what exactly?

AW: I do not necessarily want to come out on that.


Q: You've been very passionate here today. You seem to be suggesting that you don't get the respect you deserve? Any theories about why?

AW: I don't take that personally. I'm more worried about the players. I will go into the Champions League tomorrow night in a difficult situation. On top of that, they have to fight against everybody and I want to protect the players to make sure they go into the game in good conditions.


Q: You seem angry?

AW: I'm angry because when you give wrong information like that … there's not only wrong information behind that. See what I mean?


Q: It's aimed to hurt you?

AW: The lie is targeted to hurt. It's easy to say people are not happy and on top of that say he's extending the contract. That's what I mean. I've worked here for 16 years and when I say I deserve more credit, that's not about respect and everybody saying: 'He's doing well.' It is morally. I think that's right. You can criticise me and say I'm a bad manager. I'd never come back to you on that. But I think when you work like that ... you will never find any story behind me that I've taken money anywhere, or things like that. So I think morally that is wrong.


Q: But the story is a positive one saying that they want to keep you.

AW: Come on.




Q: Do you not think that some of the criticism is justified? You're 21 points off the top of the table. You're going to get criticised …

AW: We are, of course, criticised for that. But we are not the only ones. You have some clubs that have invested more money than us for years and they are behind as well. We accept this kind of criticism. But it's not what I am talking about. It's about some other things that I talk about that have come out. They are lies. But when you criticise [about being too far behind], on that, then it is true. I can only say I am sorry. You are right, we are far too far away from Manchester United.


Q: Are you under more pressure than ever? We don't normally see you like this?

AW: I reacted this way to the lie.


Q: Is it just to the lie or it is deeper than that?

AW: To the intention that is behind the lie. Honestly, do you really think I take all that personally? What I don't accept is lies and when the target behind it is to manipulate people.


Q: Do you think you've misread this? The story does say that despite everything they want you to stay. So that's good rather than bad but you seem to see a conspiracy theory.

AW: I am not a conspiracy theorist. I am 30 years in this job and if I was paranoid, you would know it already. I just think that when I worked for 16 years in the country I expect a certain respect. You can criticise me and say I am doing a bad job, I will never come back to you. But this kind of thing that is a bit manipulative … and then when they are wrong, I don't accept it.


Q: What is your current contractual situation?

AW: My contract ends in 2014. I will have completed 30 years without interruption at top-level football and that demands at least a lot of commitment. Maybe no quality but commitment, for sure.


Q: What will happen beyond 2014?

AW: I am not completely sure that you are really interested. When we lost at home to Blackburn, I am not sure that is your first worry.


Q: We would miss you!

AW: I am sure you would miss me when I am gone.

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Dalglish bought Suarez. Rodgers bought Sturridge.


Rafa's last season was the worst time ever for me as a LFC fan on and off the field. There was no way back and we are in a better place now because for the first time in YEARS we look like a strong team. Work in progress.

Back to arsenal now lads - let it go.

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