Arsene Wenger has been battered by many in the wake of Arsenal’s 5-1 loss to Bayern Munich in the first leg of the sides’ UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie last week.
One guy who’s not feeling it? Pep Guardiola.
The Manchester City boss says he gets the criticism of player selection, but bristles at the extent and severity of the post-match vitriol being served up to Wenger.
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Guardiola was asked about making eight changes to his lineup for Man City’s draw against Huddersfield Town, which caused an FA Cup replay.
Here’s his answer, from Sky Sports:
“My friend, I take the decisions, you analyze my decisions. You have to take a decision before [the game], to the best solution. It was what I did. If you don’t agree, you can write it.
“What I hear in the last 10 days, about how people, ex-players, journalists, treat Arsene Wenger is unacceptable.”
This not a particularly kind stretch for Wenger’s Arsenal, and the Gunners do look set for a seventh-straight exit from the UCL at the Round of 16. Still, Guardiola does have a point when accounting for the fact that Jurgen Klopp, Guardiola, and Jose Mourinho have all seen poor stretches this season.
Yes, Wenger has been at Arsenal much longer than his peers in the Premier League, but the cyclical criticism of the French boss is exhausting and exhaustive. Two decades in one location provides enough data to call someone a legend or brand him a disappointment. It’s a downtime right now, and perhaps the right time to change bosses. But people seem particularly happy to burn Wenger.