Arsene Wenger is an awful loser. He really is.
So, it was no surprise to hear him give little credit to Swansea who scored with only their sixth touch in the Arsenal box.
They had clearly come to the Emirates with a game plan, one that has worked well for many teams, and they were gifted a goal to maximise their reward.
After the game, Wenger was asked about the Swans, the reporter pressing him to praise Garry Monk’s men, but the boss would not be budged on his standpoint.
“They came here just to defend and never came out,” he said. Asked again if they should be congratulated, he replied “For their defending yes, [but they were] one of the teams offensively that did the fewest passes of any team here.”
Then, in his press conference, he reiterated that point
“They came here to defend. They didn’t play … but we couldn’t take advantage of it” and also added, just in case that wasn’t enough that Swansea were “a team that just defended, and completely refused to play. They had four defenders and six midfielders”.
The reporters wasted no time in running with these quotes and presenting them to Monk on a red-topped platter and he was, unsurprisingly, disappointed in the Arsenal managers comments.
“That’s a shame [that he said Swansea didn’t play]. We had a gameplan.
“If we didn’t play I don’t know how we got three points.”
I can understand Wenger’s frustration, after all, he’s had to face this sort of challenge many times in his career. That in itself breeds its own frustrations as the fans wonder if they will ever find a way to cope with it.
In the Great Manager Spats of history, this one won’t be remembered, but it will likely be fuelled for a few days as there will be nothing else to talk about.