Hull City manager Steve Bruce has launched a staunch defence of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger ahead of their sides’ match tomorrow evening.
The Gunners take on Hull at the KC Stadium in a FA Cup replay following last month’s 0-0 draw at The Emirates, with a place in the quarter-finals at stake.
Since that draw, Arsenal’s form has dipped dramatically, losing three and drawing one of their four games, leaving the club on the edge of contention in the title race and facing another early elimination from the Champions League knock-out stages to Barcelona.
That run has seen Wenger come in for some hefty stick, with many critics and fans now wondering if the Frenchman’s two-decade stint in north London may soon be coming to an end.
But Bruce insists that the reaction has been way over the top, and defended Wenger in his pre-match press conference.
Speaking via The Evening Standard, Bruce said: “They have had a bit of criticism which I find ridiculous but then again it’s part and parcel as a football manager at the moment.
“How anybody can criticise him is beyond me with what he’s achieved and what he’s done.
“From inside the game you’re not going to hear people criticise Arsene Wenger because when you are in management as long as he’s done and what he’s been able to get at Arsenal then who is anybody to criticise him?
“I find that really appalling. He’s built a fantastic squad – he’s helped finance it, he’s had to sell players. He’s never been able to really compete at the top level like anybody else has at a top club yet has kept them in the top four for 17 or 18 years.
“For me you only get one thing, which is respect. He deserves a bit more than what he gets dished out considering what he’s achieved.
“It’s very difficult to win a title. Manchester United went 20-odd years before they won 10 of them. With the emergence of Chelsea and Manchester City over the last decade then it is very, very difficult – it doesn’t just come as easy than what it used to.”
What do you think of Bruce’s comments? Is he right?