Wenger unaffected by Stoke fans' chanting in Arsenal draw

Gunners boss was taunted by supporters at the Britannia Stadium but he insists he was unaffected and credits his team's 'battling qualities' after earning a point
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger brushed off the hostile reception he received from the Stoke City during the Gunners' 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.

The Frenchman has been quick to criticise Stoke's style of play in the past and the home crowd gave him a less than favourable reception, but he was keen to stress his indifference.

“They [the Stoke fans] have a relationship with me but I don’t have one with them,” Wenger told reporters.

“I personally have enough experience to cope with that, it doesn’t bother me too much.

“I don’t listen to what people chant and just think that one day football will have to address that, it’s easy to sit in the stands and incite people.

“That’s the easiest sport in the world.”

As the Gunners continued to be frustrated by a resolute Stoke defence the Frenchman became increasingly animated on the sidelines leading to mimicking in the stands and more chants aimed the Arsenal boss.

“I don’t know what they chanted,” he added.

“Everyone in life is responsible for what he says and what he does.

“My response is that I ignore what people say and I focus on football and the way my players behave on the pitch. I’m not responsible for the way people behave in the stands. If you want to stop that it’s easy to stop but I cannot influence it.

“Sometimes when I go out of the pitch at the end of the game and people insult you I think I’d just like a little picture and send it home to you and show that to your son or your daughter and then come back next week and see if you will do it again, [see] if they are proud of you.

“That’s all you can do.”

Arsenal were not at their fluent best on a cold day in the Potteries but Wenger spoke of his pride at the way his players performed and believes that they have learnt from past experiences at the Britannia Stadium.

“I believe that it was a game where we have shown great character and great battling qualities,” he continued.

“It was a game of two different approaches to the game – one very direct in the air and one who tries to play on the ground and both teams are good at what they do.

“It was still an interesting game where we had good chances, especially in first half. In the second half I felt our fluency dropped in midfield and we still had some chances, especially a penalty not given.

“Overall we deserved at least a point and can I only give credit to my players for their battling qualities and they way responded to what Stoke offered us.

“They show commitment, are well organised and direct. We have not always coped with it but today we did.”

Arsenal had already missed two good chances before Peter Crouch put the Potters ahead in the 10th minute with a towering header, but five minutes later Robin van Persie equalised with a simple tap-in from a Tomas Rosicky cross.

The Gunners pushed for a winning goal but were unable to unlock the Stoke defence and the Frenchman cited lack of confidence recently in front of goal as a reason for failing to secure three points.

“It was a good result we got for sure that Newcastle lost today,” Wenger said.

“For us it’s important for us to win our next two games because anything less will not do it.

“In the first half we had the chances but we lacked something, because recently we did not score many goals.

“We did not score against Chelsea last week and maybe it’s linked with belief.”