A look at the world of football this week through quotes.
It’s been a bit of a roller coaster week for Arsenal with a comfortable 5-0 win last Saturday against Southampton in the FA Cup followed by a humiliating defeat at home to Watford and then another nightmare at Stamford Bridge.
As usual, following our losses – 2-1 against Watford, 3-1 Chelsea – Arsene Wenger had pretty similar stuff to say.
After Watford, Wenger spouted the usual cliche about our mentality saying, “The players are prepared and mentally focused to deal with the challenges we face.”
Before saying ahead of the Chelsea game, “We are of course frustrated and angry but I am confident in their self-belief to go and win this game.
“You are not at that level if you don’t care about losing, these guys are highly concerned and disappointed when they don’t win.
“I believe the most important thing is we turn up, we have shown we can beat Chelsea in the first game so let’s turn up with the same quality.
“What is at stake here is how we respond, in a united and determined way.
“Naturally we would be more on alert than we were against Watford. We are more likely to be on the edge of our concentration.
“That’s competition, when you accept that and want to be at the highest level you have to accept you have defining moments and games.
“If you don’t want that then it’s better you don’t compete – go and work in administration or something like that.
“Everybody knows we have to recover, the team is united and there is a desire to put things right and everyone is focused on tomorrow’s game.”
So we’ve got focus in there, mental preparation…
“The second goal was a little bit of a killer for us,” Wenger told Sky Sports 1 post-Chelsea. “It made it much more difficult for us. We had the right attitude but lacked a little bit of experience and quality. Even our experienced players did not play their best today.”
There we go: experience, attitude and quality. If you were playing Wenger Bingo this week, you must have a full house.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, one of our only decent players against Chelsea, was actually refreshingly honest during his post-match interview, admitting that, “We didn’t take our chances and made some crucial mistakes at crucial times,” and that the title is now pretty much out of our hands.
“It’s slipped further out of our hands and there’s no hiding from that now,” he said. “The gap is much bigger now and it’s going to be hard. But we play for Arsenal Football Club – if we don’t go until the end, we don’t deserve to be here. We’ve got to keep doing that.”
Elsewhere, pundits were desperately tripping over themselves to defend Marcos Alonso’s elbow in Hector Bellerin’s face for the first goal.
"It's an elevation use of the arms by Alonso rather than anything sinister" say Sky
— Daily Cannon (@DailyCannon) February 4, 2017
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) February 4, 2017
While the banter at Stamford Bridge was flowing.
Arsenal fans shouting: "Is this the Emirates?"
— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) February 4, 2017
Actually, on replay, doesn't look like Cech touched Costa's header – hit the bar directly. #cfc fans: "Arsene Wenger, we want you to stay."
— James Olley (@JamesOlley) February 4, 2017
Midweek, Jose Mourinho also had a meltdown over the ‘different’ treatment he receives compared to other managers.
“Don’t ask me questions that I cannot answer. You know clearly that I am different. The rules for me are different,” he said.
“I am different in everything, I watch my team play in a hotel, I was forbidden to go to the stadium, my assistant (Faria) had a six-match stadium ban and he didn’t touch anyone.
“Yesterday one fourth official told to a manager, ‘I enjoy very much your passion, so do what you want to do’.
“Today I was told, ‘Sit down or I have to send you to the stands’. So everything is different for me.”
Well that cheered me up at least.