Belfast Telegraph

Wenger defends Gunners commitment

Arsene Wenger insists his 24/7 approach to managing Arsenal will deliver results as he again defended his position.

The Gunners boss insisted he is not bothered about the criticism after Saturday's 1-0 win at West Brom. A banner was unfurled in the away end at the Hawthorns which read 'Arsene, thanks for the memories but it's time to say goodbye'.

Danny Welbeck's winner failed to appease some supporters despite the Gunners sitting two points off the top four in the Barclays Premier League.

But, after 18 years in charge of Arsenal, Wenger said he will ignore the jibes and will not waver.

He said: "I don't mind. I do what I love and I think I do it with honesty and total commitment. I invite you to live with me and see in seven days what kind of work we produce and you will see it's with total commitment.

"I think we have shown extreme consistency and that's all you can do. We've had ups and downs in the league, that's true, but you only come back again when the spirit is strong and united inside the club.

"If we have shown consistency it's because we have that, we have values and respect them."

Welbeck netted on the hour, his 11th goal for club and country this season, after a switch saw him move out to the right and Wenger joked about his tactics.

He said: "I never know what a Plan B is. I started to manage a team at the top level in 1983 so, if I am completely useless tactically, I am a genius."

The defeat condemned Albion to a third straight loss without scoring and Baggies fans rounded on head coach Alan Irvine.

They host West Ham on Tuesday having won just once in their last eight games in all competitions and Irvine insisted there are too many outside pressures on managers.

"There are, it's well known it took Sir Alex Ferguson a long time to have the success he had," he said.

"In today's climate he wouldn't have got anywhere and people wouldn't have seen the most successful manager in British football because he would have lost his job.

"That's where we are, it's an instant society. Everything is expected in a hurry."

And Irvine feels the wider audience do not understand what it takes to be a top-flight manager.

"Probably not," he said.

"I had a very long apprenticeship before I became a manager. I thought I knew what becoming one would be having spent five-and-a-half years as an assistant manager and having done just about every coaching role.

"But I found out when I sat in the chair I didn't know.

"It's like people will think they know (a journalist's) job and, when they have done it, that's when they realise they don't know (what it involves). That's the way it is."

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