Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Wenger: We Are Swimming against Stream of Negativity; Wenger Claims Arsenal Are Swimming against Stream

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Wenger: We Are Swimming against Stream of Negativity; Wenger Claims Arsenal Are Swimming against Stream

Article excerpt

Byline: James Olley Chief Football Correspondent

ARSENE WENGER today admitted Arsenal are "swimming against the stream" as they look to fight off the negativity engulfing Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners host West Brom tonight amid growing fan unrest at another failed title bid, with thousands of season-ticket holders making their seats available for resale and others planning to boycott the game.

Wenger has come under fire from certain sections of the fanbase in recent weeks after a slump which has seen Arsenal fall from top spot in January to 13 points behind leaders Leicester with five games to play.

Manchester United's 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace last night moved them to within one point of Arsenal, who are in fourth spot.

Arsenal have won just two of their last eight home matches in all competitions and loud boos rang out at the final whistle of Sunday's 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace.

Wenger faces a challenge to rally his players for the final push and he said: "It is hard to add perspective because people focus on what doesn't work, so we are swimming against the stream a little bit. It is our job to analyse that in a very objective way.

"When the team are frustrated, they focus on their frustration, rather than what they have done well. When you have done 95 per cent of the job well and you focus on the five per cent, you forget the other 95 per cent. You have to put Continued on Page 60 Continued from Back Page the disappointments into perspective and analyse it in an objective way. Sometimes it is one or two per cent but the top level is about small margins and these small margins are important."

Arsenal lost the reverse fixture 2-1 in November to extend Wenger's poor record against Tony Pulis. In seven away trips to Pulis's sides, Wenger has registered just one victory with four defeats.

His home record is much better, having won all eight games when Pulis was in charge of Stoke, Crystal Palace and West Brom. …

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