• Premier League

Wenger certain players are committed to turnaround

ESPN staff
December 15, 2012
Arsene Wenger insists his players were hurting after the Bradford loss © PA Photos

Arsene Wenger is insistent that he will turn Arsenal's season around, and maintains it is still too early to judge their campaign.

Arsenal's 2012-13 term reached a new low on Tuesday night after the Capital One Cup defeat to League Two side Bradford. Wenger, however, maintains they can still repeat last season's efforts of clinching third.

He said: "Look, it depends on how you judge. We finished third last year. We have not kicked on, that's true. But we have rebuilt a team this year and we'll see where we finish.

"At the moment, we have qualified for the Champions League [last 16] for 13 years on the trot. When I listen to you, it must be a mistake there: why is this team in this spot? It sounds like we should be in a Championship spot.

"At the moment, you have to take a little bit of distance as well before making a definite judgement on what we are capable of doing.

"No other team has done that in the Champions League. This season, at the moment, we are not happy with what we have produced. But we will turn it around before the end of the season."

Wenger also stressed that his players were hurting, even if his statement perhaps inadvertently raised questions about the quality of the current squad.

"You think they don't care and they go home and think they had a fantastic game? They do care," he said.

"I have had groups who had fantastic results who were less serious than these players, believe me; players who were less focused than this team. Of course these players are hurting.

"I believe I do my job the way I have to do it... it is my job so I do it. I would prefer it if everyone says I am fantastic. I cannot say we were fantastic when we lost on penalties at Bradford.

"We prepare for games seriously. You have to give them credit. It was a Cup game on an English December night in Bradford. You have to give Bradford credit. Unfortunately we paid the price.

"They kicked Wigan out as well. That shows they have something that they are difficult to beat. We put ourselves in a more difficult situation than when we were 1-0. We got off the hook with 1-1 and we should have made the difference with 30 minutes to play."

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