Belfast Telegraph

Wenger: managers must ride out storm

By Matt McGeehan

Arsenal's Arsene Wenger says being a football boss is about crisis management as he prepares to face a toiling Liverpool side led by Brendan Rodgers.

Rodgers is facing a stern examination of his managerial calibre this season as last year's Barclays Premier League runners-up are 11th in the standings this season.

Wenger, who has been Gunners boss for 18 years and survived his fair share of challenges, said: "I've sympathy for every single manager in the Premier League. Everybody goes through periods where it goes a bit less well.

"Our job is to survive crises. Part of the job, not all the job.

"When you want to make a long career, you cannot only win, unfortunately."

Criticism of Wenger resurfaced after their last Premier League away match, when he was booed at a train station following the 3-2 loss at Stoke.

Arsenal responded by beating Galatasaray and Newcastle, scoring four goals in each match, but return to Anfield, where last season they lost 5-1.

The Gunners conceded four goals in the opening 20 minutes last term against a rampaging Reds as their title challenge unravelled.

"We've won five of our last six games," Wenger said.

"We want to continue our strong run. We had a good game against Newcastle and Sunday is a good game for us to show that we can have continuity in finding a good balance between attacking well and defending well.

"Liverpool are always very strong at home and that's why we want to continue to be faithful to our philosophy and play our game, but as well be solid defensively."

The match is between two top-four contenders, but Wenger is not yet looking to the end of the season.

"Over the Christmas period we play four Premier League games. Over Christmas we'll come back strongly I'm sure in the league.

"How you come out of the Christmas period is of course very important."

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