• Champions League

Wenger: There is no crisis at Arsenal

ESPN staff
December 4, 2012
Arsene Wenger insists there is no crisis at Arsenal © PA Photos

Arsene Wenger has accused Arsenal's detractors from jumping on the bandwagon and insists the club is in "fantastic shape".

The Gunners' boss finds himself under pressure after the worst start to a Premier League campaign during his tenure. Amid reports of dressing room unrest following Arsenal's 2-0 defeat to Swansea at the weekend, Wenger insists there is "no crisis".

"It is fashionable to have a go at Arsenal but this club is in fantastic shape," Wenger said. "We have a good team and a strong structure we have built over the years. We are in a strong financial situation and we are mentally strong. I understand not everybody is pleased about that - but it's a fact."

Wenger, who has opted to rest a number of his senior players for the Gunners' Champions League trip to Olympiakos, admits that a 15-point gap behind Premier League leaders Manchester United is a sizeable one, but says it must all be taken with a pinch of salt.

He said: "The situation is at the moment we are behind in the Championship, we want to make ground back, we are qualified for 13 consecutive years in the Champions League, we are qualified in the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup and we have our chances in the FA Cup like everyone else. We have many challenges and that is what we want to focus on.

"You should look a little bit at the statistics and not only read the newspapers. I only have one pressure and that is to win the next football game and to play the football I love. All the rest, I don't think that affects me at all. You would be surprised.

"Nothing really happened [after the Swansea defeat]. That the players are not happy after the game, do you want them to do a dance after we lost? This group of players is very strong, very highly motivated, has a very good spirit and they want to win. If they don't win, of course they are upset. I am more worried if I see players who laugh in the shower after a game that we lost.

"We are in a job where the next game is the only important thing; that is how you can show how good you are."

Olympiakos player to watch: Former Manchester United keeper Roy Carroll is enjoying a new lease of life with the Greek champions, and after being left on the bench for Olympiakos' 3-1 defeat at Emirates Stadium, he will be desperate to make a point against the Gunners.

Arsenal player to watch: With eight of Arsenal's starting XI left behind for the trip to Athens, Aaron Ramsey will be handed the task of pulling the strings in midfield in the absence of the likes of Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere. He scored in the reverse fixture earlier this season, can he double up against the Greek side?

Betting: Arsenal need to get a result in Athens to have any realistic hope of finishing top of Group B, although that is largely dependent on Montpellier getting a result against Schalke. Arsenal are low on confidence and have many senior players missing, but they could still nick a win. Arsenal to win 2-1 is a tempting 11/1/ with bet365.

Prediction: 1-2

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