Arsenal came in for heavy criticism on Sunday, with the mentality of the squad a particularly prevalent talking point.
It was hardly surprising, the Gunners had, after all, lost another big game and another game at Old Trafford. This time, though, it came against a weak and inexperienced Manchester United side. No wonder it drew criticism from pundits.
The criticism must get to the players and they are surely now asking questions of themselves but, facing the media on Tuesday, Arsène Wenger hopes the side can respond, channelling the criticism into their next performances.
“I’m never surprised by the criticism that comes,” said the boss. “That’s part of the media today and part of the opinions are always a bit excessive and emotional and we have to deal with that. I won’t complain about that.”
Theo Walcott was one player singled out, but the Arsenal manager was also reluctant to get involved on those comments.
“I don’t want to respond to individual criticism because I think people are a bit too emotional, we want to put that into perspective and analyse things a bit more in a neutral way. I think this club is respected all over the world despite what people say.”
The fallout from Sunday’s 3-2 defeat has been a big one, and Arsenal have been criticised from pretty by everyone. Even more absurd was criticism after Tuesday’s defeat to Barcelona, one of the biggest sides in the world.
Given some results this season it feels wrong to suggest the team can’t play well against or beat teams in big games, but we do still seem to struggle with adversity. That’s something for the boss, his staff, and his players to consider, and I’m sure they will.
For now, they have to shut people up by responding this midweek in the game against Swansea City.