Arsene Wenger has called on his side to respond in a ‘united way’ to Sunday’s Carabao Cup final disappointment as they look to exact revenge on Manchester City tomorrow night.
The Gunners face Pep Guardiola’s league leaders for the second time in five days knowing they must win to keep their slim hopes of a top four finish alive.
Under pressure for their limp showing at Wembley, the boss made clear that his side can still point to the fact they reached the final as a reason to be optimistic.
“Well when you do not get the result, it’s part of our job,” he told press on Wednesday.
“Part of our job is to respond and to focus on the next game. You want only to win games, it’s not always possible, so it’s the way you respond.
“I believe that [we need to] analyse well, focus on the next one and respond together in a united way, which his part of our philosophy at the club.”
Several former players, including Wenger’s former charges Martin Keown, Thierry Henry and Ian Wright, were particularly vocal in their frustration at the way Arsenal keeled over in the 3-0 defeat at the weekend. Reproached so regularly in recent years, the boss took the situation in his stride.
“Look, we have to live with that,” he noted. “It’s part of the modern game. People who comment, their job is to comment, so you have to live with that.
“What is important is how we respond, how we analyse the game and how we respond in a united way.
“All the rest is part of the game that you have to live with. It doesn’t help us to win or lose the next game. What helps us to win the next game is how we respond internally together.”
On why he chooses to believe in his players, he added: “The belief? You cite only the games we have lost, but we have won many games.
“What you forget is we were in the final. Nobody has put us in there on invitation. We had to fight very hard, we had to knock Chelsea out in the semi-final, over two games. That shows you that the team has quality and can fight. It was two tough games.
“We have not played weak opponents to get into the final. It’s not available for everybody to get there.
“After that, you have to say as well that we played against a team who dominate the Premier League by 15 points, so you know that you go into a final nobody can guarantee you to win. You can win and lose – you have not to accept it but you know as well that can be part of the game.”