Belfast Telegraph

Arsene Wenger praises foe Pardew for Magpies revival

By Jim van Wijk

Arsene Wenger accepts all managers face a "permanent tribunal", wherever their team is in the table.

The Gunners will be out to get their Barclays Premier League campaign back on track against Newcastle in today's late kick-off at the Emirates Stadium, having produced an impressive display when beating Galatasaray 4-1 in their midweek Champions League tie in Istanbul.

It was not so long ago the Newcastle fans all appeared united in their desire to see manager Alan Pardew sacked as the club looked set to ensure a drawn-out relegation battle.

However, following an upturn in fortunes which saw the Magpies knock Manchester City out of the Capital One Cup and last weekend end Chelsea's unbeaten start to the season, Pardew is now very much flavour of the month - his side are level on points with Arsenal in seventh place.

Gunners boss Wenger, who continues to see his own position questioned by some Arsenal supporters, accepts such highs and lows come with the territory.

"Society is like it is today. You want to win the next game. It is a permanent tribunal from everybody, and it is as it is. You have to cope with that," said Wenger.

"I have sympathy for every manager who suffers."

The 65-year-old French coach came in for harsh personal criticism following the 3-2 defeat at Stoke last Saturday, when he was jeered by a small group of Arsenal fans as the players boarded their train back to London.

Pardew slammed that treatment as "totally disrespectful", and claimed Arsenal should name their stadium after Wenger in recognition of his achievements.

Wenger, who had a touchline row with Pardew when he was West Ham manager in 2006, responded: "I am very thankful for compliments, but I don't want anything.

"The one thing is to do well in my job for this club, which is what I always try to do."

Wenger has been impressed with Newcastle's response after a testing start.

"Alan Pardew has gone through a very difficult patch at Newcastle and he has dealt with it with strength and dignity. Fortunately he has been rewarded for it," Wenger said.

"They had a great result last week, they are doing well and they are on a good run. It will be a very interesting challenge for us.

"We have a good dynamic in our team, we won four of our last five games. We had one blip against Stoke, but overall I think we are on a good trend."

Arsenal have defensive problems because of injuries and a one-match suspension for Calum Chambers, so right-back Mathieu Debuchy could be asked to move over to centre-half, the France international having just returned from three months out with an ankle problem.

Belfast Telegraph


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