Wenger hoping to avoid repeat of riot act

ARSENE WENGER hopes he will not have to read his Arsenal players the riot act at half-time against Burnley tonight – and accepts the job of a modern-day manager is about more than just barking orders.

Much has been made of the French manager’s dressing room tirade during the interval at Liverpool on Sunday, where Arsenal had trailed 1-0 following a lacklustre display.

Captain Cesc Fabregas revealed in a post-match interview that Wenger had “screamed.... and said we didn’t deserve to wear the Arsenal shirt if we played like that”.

The attack, however, seemed to work, as the Gunners bounced back to win 2-1 and close the gap on Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea to six points with a match in hand.

However the Gunners boss knows each and every single person needs to be treated on an individual basis.

“I have, for a long time, behaved in this job exactly as I think I have to, or that suits me, but we try to adapt to every single situation that we face,” he said. “As a manager, you must first of all love to help people, to give them a chance in life, and to develop players, then you must have a big resistance to stress – all the rest, you learn. It has always been the same.’’

Arsenal made the most of slip-ups by both Chelsea, who drew 3-3 with Everton at Stamford Bridge, and Manchester United, beaten at home by Aston Villa, to drag themselves back into the title race.

Wenger feels this campaign is the “most open” of recent times.

“Why? Because nobody looks to run away early in the season,” he said.

“Instead of having four teams, I believe you have six, seven or eight teams who can all cause a surprise at any weekend. Things change very quickly. What looks for definite in this league is just short-term. No situation is definitely established.

“Chelsea looked to be running away with it two weeks ago, today it is different. That is why, certainly since I have been here, this is the most open championship.”

Wenger added: “The real message we have given out is that Arsenal is ready for a fight and that we do not give up.

“If we have learned one thing from the beginning of the season until now, it is that every single team has to be considered very seriously and we have to be highly committed and focused.”

Meanwhile Burnley boss Owen Coyle insists his Clarets will not try to kick Arsenal off the park tonight.

He also believes his budget bargains can still go “toe to toe” with Arsenal and yet stay true to their own belief in playing the game the right way.

Coyle said: “If you watch our team, we look to play football. We don’t have overly-physical players in our team.

“We like to think we are competitive but there has always been good football in games between ourselves and Arsenal and I don’t see any reason why that should be any different tomorrow night.”


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