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Wenger: Loss hurts me more than Twitter criticism

Wenger's Arsenal were crushed by Monaco at home in the Champions League. Credit: PA

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is not immune to criticism, but feels "hurt" more by his team's defeats than what the pundits have to say or rants on social media.

The Gunners saw their Champions League hopes suffer what appears to be a fatal setback following a 3-1 home defeat by Monaco in the first leg of the last 16 tie on Wednesday night.

The lacklustre performance of Wenger's side drew plenty of negative headlines and sound bites, while Piers Morgan took to Twitter to defend himself against claims of not being a proper Arsenal fan by former Double winner Bob Wilson, who had gone on radio to support the manager as his position was again called into question.

What is hurting is the defeat more than the criticism. I do not say I am immune to it. I love to win and when I don't win, I am hurt of course.

We have to live with that (criticism) and I think what is important is to give a strong response.

We are a big club - that means we are a club who interest many people and that gives us a stronger responsibility.

Of course when you come out from a disappointing game like Wednesday night, you don't expect people to applaud. It is absolutely normal that we get criticised.

– Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes that holding the 2022 Qatar World Cup in November and December "makes sense" because of the safety implications involved with staging the tournament during the summer months.

Ahead of this week's Champions League showdown with former club Monaco, Wenger told reporters:

I regret it took them so much time to realise that it's impossible to play in the summer. I think it makes sense if you want people to survive the games - it's the only way to do it, in a decent way, in a comfortable way for the supporters. I think about the players you don't worry, but for the supporters it's the only way, it's the right decision

– Arsene Wenger

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Boss accuses Arsenal of switching off at Crystal Palace

Arsene Wenger believes his Arsenal side may have "switched off" towards the end of their victory over Crystal Palace as they escaped with a 2-1 win.

Wenger was disappointed with Arsenal switching off. Credit: Reuters

The visitors had eased into a two-goal lead at half-time courtesy of an early Santi Cazorla penalty and an Olivier Giroud strike just before the break.

But Palace rallied in the second-half and had Arsenal defending deep - with substitute Glenn Murray scoring a stoppage-time consolation before cracking a post with the last meaningful touch of the game.

Certainly they thought that it was done.

We know in the Premier League that it's never done, especially at 2-0. With that ball on the post we were a bit fortunate.

We can learn from every game. I believe that the players know that maybe they switched off a little bit too early. Overall I still must say that our central defenders played very well today against a very direct and a very physical game at the back.

– Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

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Arsenal boss Wenger could hand Szczesny starting spot back for Aston Villa

Wojciech Szczesny could make his first Premier League start for Arsenal against Aston Villa since he was caught smoking in the showers after the New Year's Day defeat at Southampton.

Szczesny could return to Arsenal's starting line-up against Aston Villa. Credit: PA

The Poland international was back in goal for last weekend's FA Cup victory against Brighton, and Wenger believes he has responded well after losing his place to Colombian David Ospina.

He is 100 per cent committed in training and works harder than ever," said Wenger.

For me that is the most important when a player is questioned at some stage, how he responds shows you his strength of character, and on that front Wojciech has done extremely well until now.

At the moment, the competition is there. I just always have to make the decision who plays the next game.

– Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
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