Football Football

Wenger calls for ceasefire as fans revolt


LONDON, England, December 2 – Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has told the club’s unhappy fans he will bring happier times back to the club after Swansea City beat them 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium.

Saturday’s defeat followed a protest outside the ground by hundreds of supporters who are angry with the board of directors for constantly selling star players to Champions League rivals.

Arsenal were also booed off at the final whistle, which confirmed they had dropped to 10th place in the Premier League — three places below Swansea — but Wenger was confident he could steer the club out of its current predicament.

“We are in this job to turn it round and I am confident we will because of the quality of the players and the spirit we have in the team, so it is a good moment to stick together,” he said.

“At the moment we are consistent away from home — our results are positive — but at home we haven’t produced the performances since the start of the season that you would expect from us, and that’s why we have to find a solution.

“At the moment it looks like we are playing with the handbrake on at home and it’s not fluent, what we do. There might be a psychological component in there as well.

“Of course it hurts but I am not so much worried about the places, even though of course that (10th place) is not where we want to be.

“I believe that what is important is to get the quality of our game back. That is much more important.”

And when the Frenchman was asked whether he felt his lengthy spell at the club might be coming to an end, he insisted he would still be in charge at the end of the campaign.

“You make your assessment at the end of the season, like I said many times,” he said. “I know at the moment there is a lot of unrest everywhere, but I believe it’s a good opportunity to show we are a strong club.”

Swansea had been arguably the better side before Michu, the Spanish forward, scored twice in the last three minutes, converting breakaway one-on-ones on both occasions.

Michael Laudrup, the Swansea manager, said afterwards that this weekend’s winning feeling was no sweeter than any other, however.

“For me it is not more special than winning at QPR or Newcastle,” he said.

“It’s more for the people on the outside, the media and the fans, but for me, every away game is so difficult. But it is December and we have already won three (away games), so that is great for a club like us.”

The Dane was also adamant that the score-line reflected how well his side had played as much as it exposed Arsenal’s current shortcomings.

“Arsenal are still moving the ball around well but we play that way as well,” he said.

“The big teams have players who have one or two chances and it’s a goal — that’s the difference between £2 million ($3.2 million, 2.5 million euros) and £30 million — but we played as well as they did.

“I wouldn’t say Arsenal have lost something — it’s because we are Swansea and people think you can’t come here and play like that. But we have shown in other games that we can.”

Michu cost Swansea just £2 million and Laudrup was delighted with his goal haul of 11 in all competitions so far.

“Obviously we are very pleased with Michu,” he said.

“A guy who has scored many goals will always be a bargain, whatever the price. Goals give points and points give the possibility to play at this level, which is why they are so important.”