Wenger hits back at Nani

Gunners boss also hopeful Vermaelen will be fit for January

Last updated: 24th December 2010   Subscribe to RSS Feed

I personally don't know who will win the league and I have managed 1600 games. If Nani knows he must be 1600 times more intelligent than I am.

Arsene Wenger
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Arsene Wenger has sarcastically mocked Nani after the Manchester United winger dismissed Arsenal's Premier League title credentials.

The Gunners sit second in the table ahead of Monday's London derby with rivals Chelsea at Emirates Stadium and they have topped the division at times this season.

But Nani believes United, who lead Arsenal by two points with a game in hand, only need to worry about the challenge of defending champions Chelsea.

Gunners boss Wenger, a manager since beginning his career with Nancy in 1984, is not impressed by the Portugal international's comments and he has implied his side are more than capable of winning their first league title since 2004.


"Everybody has a different opinion in this league and nobody is perfect," the 61-year-old former Monaco and Grampus Eight chief told a press conference broadcast on Sky Sports News HD.

"We live in a society where everybody knows everything and it is a shame to say, 'I don't know'.

"I personally don't know who will win the league and I have managed 1600 games. If Nani knows he must be 1600 times more intelligent than I am."

Arsenal have infamously not won a trophy since the 2005 FA Cup and a young team have faced the usual accusations of naivety this season after already losing five league games and failing to live up to expectations on the big occasion.

Wenger has always defended his players and he thinks that an apparent inability to deal with pressure is a common trend in England's top flight in the 2010/11 campaign.


The Frenchman said: "We have seen recently that any team, when they think they are on the brink of breaking through, they have the hiccups.

"Maybe it is just the quality of the league?"

Arsenal have had to cope without key centre-back Thomas Vermaelen since September, when the Belgian sustained an Achilles injury on international duty.

But Wenger is optimistic the £10million arrival from Ajax in 2009 will be fit for the first team early in the New Year.

The Arsenal boss said: "He has been out for a long, long time. We are hopeful that he we will be back in January."

Wenger, though, has been boosted by the news that Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie are both available to make their first start together since August in the meeting with Chelsea.

Comments (60)

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Michael Zano (Arsenal fan) says...

Its interesting how Arsenal, the so called boys in a men's game can beat Chelsea 3-1. Well i am a gooner all the way and think we are in agood position to challenge for the title. Nani is far far less experienced than Wenger and thats a Fact. The finish line will tell...

Posted 10:24 29th December 2010

Dammy Samson says...

Every one is entitled to his opinion. But Wenger's comments are meant to silence Nani. Truly as at yet, no one knows where the pendulum would eventually swing as regards the League Shield. So, Nani should stop his uncultured manner of addressing an elderly, period!

Posted 08:58 28th December 2010

John Jones says...

To Louis Higgins, the Man City fan...You could easily edit that post and substitute Nani's name with a certain arrogant, deluded fool who 'plays' for your lot. A player who reckons only Messi is a better player than himself...Step forward Mario Balotelli.

Posted 03:49 27th December 2010

Karl Hinze says...

Eugene Clearly, did somebody tell you that Old Trafford is in Salford (which is what you're implying) or did you work it for yourself? I get the feeling it's the former, because you're wrong. It's in Stretford, Manchester. Salford isn't far from the stadium, but it's not where Old Trafford is. So don't call others blinkered when you clearly are yourself.

Posted 19:41 26th December 2010

Iredia Osifo says...

I have a feeling Arsen Wenger is very petty. That is why he reacts angrilly at all times to comments made by people about his club. Footballers all over the world are used to doing this. Let him take a cue from other mamagers in the EPL. What a manner of coach is he.

Posted 19:59 25th December 2010

Ricardo Williams says...

Please forgive me if i'm missing something here but hasn't Arsene Wenger managed the gunners to 3 Premiership titles, several FA Cups and a CL final,so how can an upstart like Nani with the intelligence of a flea try to lecture Arsenal football club. Next year all the so call big teams wouldn't be able to spend anymore silly money on players!!!!

Posted 14:01 24th December 2010

Grant Barker (Manchester United fan) says...

Nani is allowed to have an opinion! And i dont know why this press confrence from Wenger has made a story? What did people expect him to reply to Nanis comments like? Did people want him to say 'Nani is right', or something?! He is obviously going to back his team! And i believe the title race is wide open still, but im confident United can win it. I also believe Arsenal will beat Chelsea at the Emirates on monday night. Im predicting, Arsenal 2-0 Chelsea!

Posted 08:33 24th December 2010

Adam Middleton (Manchester United fan) says...

Did I read Cal Taylor's comments right? Bolton and Liverpool as title contenders?! Brilliant scouser ignorance. Liverpool 6th at best and with Gerrrard aging nicely and with Torres' eternal injuries it will be 6th at best for the next few seasons. Happy Christmas Scousers!!

Posted 08:24 24th December 2010

Demon Gooner says...

man utd fans keep on saying nani ,was asked a question and commented. but so was wenger asked a question, trouble is with the media it caurses trouble all the time asking players and manager, the same questions, look at wenger and the stupid question he gets from the media, and he got to reply. and then the good old media uses it agaist him so he can't win

Posted 07:23 24th December 2010

Don Moh (Manchester United fan) says...

one need not be 1600 times smarter than wenger to see or predict that arsenal will not win the 2010/11 campaign!

Posted 07:08 24th December 2010

Jason Cox (Manchester United fan) says...

I agree with those Man U fans who say Nani needs to stop mouthing of and concentrate on his football. Stop trying to be the next Ronaldo, also a great footballer keeps out of the headlines. I mean when do you ever hear about Ashley Cole in the papers for the wrong reason!!!

Posted 06:08 24th December 2010

Baljeet Sangha (Manchester United fan) says...

Lol, whoever keeps saying Nani who doesnt really know that much about football, Nani is the one who has the top assists this season? 5 goals and 10 assists says it all, you cannot question his ability to play football, hes young and will learn to pass more, yes he is not ronaldo but he is pretty good and probably the best right winger in the league. also at the end of the day, He was right, Arsenal once again lost to a big side and cannot see them winning the league, people are just too biast to agree. People will always hate manchester united because they are so successful, and it will carry on, get over it, Nani was right. Manchester United Top of the league once again, Shh to all the haters

Posted 03:51 24th December 2010

Cal Taylor (Liverpool fan) says...

I believe neither Arsenal or Chelsea are title contenders. Chelsea ( even with Lampard back ) are doing awful and still falling fast now, unless they can win their next game. Arsenal haven't been title contenders for ages either, personally i think it is the lack of experience in Wenger players. People would laugh, but i would say Bolton are massive title contenders, and with Gerrard and Agger back, Liverpool might do so too. Though Man U are probably gonna win it again while we go win Europa League. Nani is entitled to a opinion as well Wenger, so mind your own business, if you said that Nani isnt as skilled as your own players, u must be going bonkers, apart from Fabregas, you got a risky squad, who might or might not do good later on.

Posted 02:32 24th December 2010

Bella Hotan (Liverpool fan) says...

Well i think Nani is entitled to his comments. If Wenger is unhappy, he needs to show it in the pitch. Personally, i think the top 5 teams are capable of winning the title. My guess is probable Man U. Although i may not like them but i have to respect their mental strength..ie Never Give Up

Posted 02:31 24th December 2010

Marcus Hoefliger (Manchester United fan) says...

Wenger....medals count more than games played mate!!!Nani got you covered on that champ. As for Evra, any team would have him - passion and commitment to his club.......and to be fair he is right about arsenal! Arsenal is a fantastic development centre. When is Wenger going to be held accountable for the lack of trophys?ohhhh arsenal are still deveoping...EXCUSES!

Posted 02:17 24th December 2010

Parit Shah (Arsenal fan) says...

he is right

Posted 01:01 24th December 2010

Louis Higgins (Manchester City fan) says...

If Arsenal had half of the luck that Manchester United had with the last minute winners, then I'm sure they would be top of the league. But never mind, can't agree with Nani's comments and all of his comments seem to be false anyway, he considers himself as one of the top players in Europe, i could name many players who are better then he is.

Posted 00:44 24th December 2010

Jack Robins (Arsenal fan) says...

Its close at the top and not one of the top teams has been consistent this season, so its stupid of Nani to say that when Man u havent exactly been consistent this season, hence why theyve drawn so many games. Maybe in March/April it will be more clear, but even then you migh not be able to say. They might be in the best position now with 2 games in hand but I can see all these typical 'man u mind games' backfiring sooner or later

Posted 00:43 24th December 2010

Lee Morrissey (Manchester United fan) says...

Nani's only error in judgement is thinking that Chelsea have any chance of winning the title. They may as well give it to United now as they are head nd shoulders above all compretition.

Posted 00:07 24th December 2010

Dave Hambrook (Chelsea fan) says...

look at the league table and look at recent performances. i'm a chelsea fan through and through but i cant honestly say we will challenge arsenal or united for the title the way things have been going recently. managers and players are meant to say these kind of things otherwise people would start having a go at them for not being passionate enough. fans should stop wearing rose tinted spectacles and focus on the results and performances of their teams before making ridiculous and slanderous statements about teams managers and players!

Posted 23:28 23rd December 2010

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