Arsene Wenger has praised the Arsenal fans who were at the Emirates on Tuesday night for the latest Bayern drubbing, hailing them for sticking with the team.
Despite a protest outside the ground, which was attended by around 200 people, and a few fans inside with banners, for the most part, the Emirates crowd was right behind the team. The place was pumping despite the magnitude of what was in front of Arsenal and it was working – the Gunners were winning – until the officials got involved, of course.
“It was fantastic,” Wenger said about the fans sticking with the team throughout the game. “They were there for a great night.”
Sadly, as we know, we didn’t get another great night at the Emirates. “Would we have made it or not [if Walcott had been awarded a penalty]? I don’t know. Maybe not. But it could have been close because it was a penalty on Walcott, Giroud had a great chance with a header just after half-time from six yards.
“They were wobbling a little bit at 1-0. At 2-0 it would have changed. You could see that with Paris Saint-Germain, they froze suddenly, players with experience.
“The mental aspect in these kind of games is very important.”
Admitting he was “very angry, very frustrated,” Wenger also said that he takes full responsibility for what happened against the Germans. “When you are 1-1 and down to 10 men and have to score four goals, you could sit there and think, ‘I could put three defenders on now’.
“But even if you put three defenders on you can still lose 5-1 when you are down to 10 men.
“Or you have one chance in a million and you still try to play so that at least the people that come and watch you see you try to play football.
“I went for the second option.
“I got slaughtered because it finished 5-1, but that is what I decided and I stand up for that.
“I thought, even if it is a one-in- a-million chance, let’s go for it.”