Arsene Wenger ‘wanted to hit’ reporter after Man Utd thrashed Arsenal | Football

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Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal were thrashed 8-2 by Man Utd in 2011 (Pictures: Getty)

Arsene Wenger ‘wanted to hit’ Sky Sports reporter Geoff Shreeves over his ‘brutal’ line of questioning after Manchester United thrashed Arsenal 8-2 at Old Trafford.

Arsenal suffered their worst defeat since 1896 when they were battered by Sir Alex Ferguson’s United in August 2011.

Wayne Rooney scored the sixth hat-trick of his United career as Manchester United swept aside an Arsenal side depleted by injuries and suspensions.

In Wenger’s post-match interview with Sky Sports, Shreeves asked the legendary manager whether he was considering resigning and if he thought he still had the backing of the Arsenal board.

As a result, Wenger – who would continue to manage Arsenal until May 2018 – ‘wanted to hit’ the reporter.

In his new book, Cheers, Geoff! Tales from the Touchline, Shreeves writes: ‘I first interviewed Arsene Wenger when he joined Arsenal in 1996. We’d speak 30 times a season, over the 21 years he was in charge.

Sky Sports' Geoff Shreeves interviewed Wenger after the match

Sky Sports’ Geoff Shreeves interviewed Wenger after the match (Picture: Getty)

‘I know what makes him tick, he knows how I work but there are still moments when the relationship spills over into antagonism.

‘After Arsenal had been beaten 8-2 by Manchester United at Old Trafford in 2011, there was no room for soft-soap questions — Wenger had to face an inquisition.

‘I asked if he would resign and if he thought the board would back him. Brutal questions.

Manchester United embarrassed the Gunners (Picture: Getty)

‘I could see the anger building in his eyes and afterwards Arsenal’s head of media, Mark Gonnella said: “The boss has just told me he wanted to hit you during that interview, he was so angry.”

‘Years later, Arsene told me: “Geoff, I wanted to hit you that day, it’s true. But you were not the only one — there were many others.”

‘Wenger was always fascinating, he never ducked an interview, never made an excuse or stepped away. He would always front up.’


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