LONDON: Arsene Wenger insisted he never doubted Arsenal would prove the critics wrong as his side’s controversial 2-0 win over Tottenham slowed their rivals’ bid for north London supremacy.
When Arsenal finished below Tottenham in the Premier League for the first time in 22 years last season, frustrated Gunners fans stepped up their calls for Wenger to quit.
Arsenal’s erratic start to the current campaign, combined with Tottenham’s fine form, had only increased the pressure on Wenger.
But the Gunners boss remained steadfast in his belief that his players were too good to stay stuck in a rut.
They finally rewarded that faith with a vibrant display on Saturday, securing their first league win against Tottenham since March 2014 to show the local balance of power hasn’t been seized by their hated neighbors just yet.
“We played with purpose, a desire to be efficient and good solidarity from the first minute. We produced an immense performance,” Wenger said.
“We were not as bad as people said after we lost to Man City.
“When you lose people jump to conclusions, but we don’t listen as much as you think to the national debate.
“We live in our own club and focus on what is important. We can only give our answer on the pitch.”
Asked if he felt a sense of vindication from the derby win after enduring so much abuse following heavy defeat at Liverpool and Manchester City, Wenger took the high road.
“I’m here to produce a quality performance for people who come and pay their money. That is my job,” he said.
“I have as well sometimes to live with opinions that are not right and exaggerated.