Arsene Wenger may be desperate for Arsenal to progress to the next round of the FA up when he takes the team north to face Hull City for the replay tomorrow, but I am sure he will be feeling very well disposed towards their manager, after Steve Bruce used his press conference to hit back at the critics of the Arsenal boss.
As reported by Sky Sports the former defender suggested that all the critics of Wenger and the way that Arsenal have faltered recently in the title race is hugely unfair and disrespectful and also that it comes from people that are not actually involved in the game from the inside, pointing out that all real football people have nothing but respect for the Frenchman.
Bruce said, “From inside the game, you are not going to hear people criticise I would not have thought.
“When you are a manager as long as he has been and see what he has achieved, and what he has been able to do at Arsenal, who is anybody to criticise him?
“I find that really appalling, that people can criticise him. He has helped build a fantastic club, he has helped finance it, he has had to sell players.
“He has never been able to really compete the way everyone else has at a top club but he has kept them in the top four for 17, 18 years.
“From me, he will only get one thing, which is respect. I think he deserves a bit more than he gets dished out, considering what he has achieved.
“It is very difficult to win a title. Man United went 20-odd years before they won 10 of them, Liverpool have gone 20-odd years (without a title).
“With the emergence of Chelsea and Manchester City over the last decade, it is very difficult for any big club to win a title. It doesn’t just come as easy as maybe it used to.”
It is interesting to hear this point of view amid all the questions about Wenger, especially the bit about not being able to compete financially. And as if this personal backing of his opposite number was not enough, the Hull boss revealed that he was still looking at the promotion chase as a big priority and so would be making a lot of changes just as he did in the first leg at the Emirates.
The Arsenal players still need to take advantage of this and Wenger will no doubt be making a few changes himself but has he just been handed a massive double boost by Steve Bruce?