Premier League – What the managers said

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said his players are not machines after his side’s shock loss at home to Hull City.

2008-2009 Arsenal Arsene Wenger - 0

Arsenal 1-2 Hull

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger: “Human beings are not machines and perhaps subconsciously we thought we would just win it. We were a bit careless and it was a good lesson for us. We now know that if our attitude isn’t right, we can lose games and Hull played very well, especially in defence. You can never afford defeats but it is very concerning to lose a game like we did today. We had a good chance to go top of the league.

“We responded well after losing at Fulham earlier this season and now we have to have an outstanding game on Tuesday night [against Porto in the Champions League]. The dressing room is very shocked and quiet but that is part of mental strength, to deal with that and show how united we are. We have to repair the damage done psychologically.”

Hull manager Phil Brown: “We picked a team to come here and cause them problems. We have a drive, an endeavour and a belief that we can come to places and get a result. We have a great group of players: we aren’t fazed by anything because we have good experience in that dressing room and good talent. I wasn’t surprised we won today.

[On Geovanni’s strike] “I expected him to score from there! He’s a technically-gifted player who can move the ball, like all Brazilian players. He has his own technique for it and it was far from a one-off for him. He’s a magical player.”

Manchester United 2-0 Bolton Wanderers

Bolton boss Gary Megson (regarding Cristiano Ronaldo‘s penalty): “It was a nonsense decision. When [referee] Rob Styles blew the whistle I thought he was going to book Ronaldo for diving. He did not seem to be sure what he was going to give. My thoughts on the tackle were the same as everyone else’s in the stadium apart from one man. When the referee sees it again, he will have the same opinion too. It really sticks in the throat.

“I want to see the right decisions made. If TV replays take too long then we won’t do them but from looking at other sports, TV can do these things. They talk about dropping the referee but what does that solve? It is just a symbolic gesture. Everybody knows what happened. Jlloyd Samuel won the ball. It is astonishing.”

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson: “I was surprised because it looked as though their lad got a foot on the ball. But Rob Styles turned us down four or five times last year so maybe it is payback time. But he still owes us another four.

“He [substitute Wayne Rooney] made a difference when he came on. If we are getting responses like that from players it is terrific for the club.”

Newcastle United 1-2 Blackburn Rovers

Newcastle interim manager Joe Kinnear: “We needed to stop feeling sorry for ourselves. We need to get rid of all the issues that are going on – is the club being sold? Are we bringing back Kevin Keegan? – until it actually happens.

“We need to focus on playing football, it’s as simple as that. And they need to play football well. But what has not helped matters, I am told, is that six or seven of the best players are missing.”

Blackburn boss Paul Ince: “It was important in the last 48 hours that we shut that out and concentrated on what Blackburn Rovers is all about rather than feeling sorry for Newcastle. Also, it was a case of who got the first goal. As soon as we got the first goal I felt at ease because I knew the crowd would get on their backs.

“It’s not the [Newcastle] players’ fault. They are trying, they are trying really, really hard and I feel sorry for them.”

Everton 0-2 Liverpool

Everton boss David Moyes: “It [Tim Cahill‘s red card] was not the worst foul of the day and I felt it was only a yellow. We will be asking the referee to have a look at the decision and hope he will rescind the card. I did not feel Cahill should have been sent off. Maybe the referee even changed his mind about what card to show.

“Our start does worry me. It is the same group of players, in the main, who finished fifth last season. Our performances have not matched that. Sometimes you cannot find the winning formula, so it is my job to sort things out. Maybe you can see the difference £100million makes to a team, but I expect my team to compete. And for most of the game they did.”

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez: “We are playing with confidence and controlled the game. We are top, probably for only a while, but we want to make sure we are at the top for a long time.

“As for the red card, Xabi told me it could have been a lot worse, he felt it was justified.”

Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea

Stoke boss Tony Pulis: “We have to take positives out of the game and cannot get down in the dumps. We competed well against Chelsea and Liverpool. The problem today is we sat off them a little bit. It was just unfortunate the way their second goal came about as Cort just lost his footing. That killed the game.”

Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari: “It is impossible to play beautiful football all the time and it was difficult against Stoke. Whenever we made a mistake they arrived and tried to put the ball in the box. We had to pay attention.

“But we kept our shape and that was important. It was fantastic to get a win like this as Stoke created only one or two chances. We always want to play football but sometimes the other team does not think that way. They just want to live off your mistakes.”

Aston Villa 2-1 Sunderland

Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill: “We had to fight back and try to blow the cobwebs away after losing to QPR in the Carling Cup on Wednesday.

“The side has done well but we didn’t have much more energy left in the game and I think the majority of the crowd will forgive us for keeping the ball in the corner in the last few minutes. They will forgive us because in terms of entertainment we are as strong as anyone in Britain in that department.”

Sunderland boss Roy Keane: “You’ve got to put the ball in the back of the net and, for all our decent play and good possession, particularly in the second half, we didn’t test the keeper enough. We felt there was definitely something there for the taking today so we are disappointed with that side of things. But we know Villa are going to be pretty decent at set-pieces. Their record would suggest that, the number of goals they have scored over the last couple of years.”

Fulham 1-2 West Ham United

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson: “It has to go down as one of those really weird games where you have to be satisfied with a lot of the things we did out there. I thought we played some excellent football but within three minutes, in a game we looked like being able to win and certainly give a good account of ourselves, everything changed.

“I was really amazed how the players in the second half showed their character and physical fitness to work as hard as they did and almost bring us back into the game. Unfortunately at this level of football, when you are two goals down it is not easy to come back, especially when you have 10 men rather than 11.”

West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola: “I don’t know if we were lucky today, I will leave it up to others to judge. But when you win you need a little bit of luck. Certainly I am not one who regrets luck. I would like to have luck in every single game but we played a good match and had a few occasions in the second half to make it [the scoreline] bigger. I would like to be lucky every Saturday.

“I have been working with this team for two weeks and they know what kind of football I want. They are doing very well and they will get much better. Winning away games like this will give them a lot of confidence.”

Middlesbrough 1-2 West Brom

Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate: “We had more than enough chances to win the game, never mind draw it. But we haven’t, and we’ve got to learn quickly. We can’t keep saying we deserved something and coming away with nothing.

“It’s a lesson we’ve got to take on board very quickly. Up to the penalty box we’ve done an awful lot right with the ball, and going forward we’ve had enough chances to win two games. I’m a bit more than fed up but you just have to roll your sleeves up and go again. It was one of those days.”

West Brom boss Tony Mowbray: “His [goalkeeper Scott Carson‘s] talent will get him back into the England team if that’s what his goal is. He’s got a settled place to come to work every day and that will give him the stability he needs. As a 21-year-old boy playing in a game like that [for England] and having that unfortunate situation, it’s a great credit to his character and personality that he’s producing performances like he did today.

“Scott made some great saves. He’s a lovely lad, he’s got no edges about him. He’s a big lad and he’s agile and alert. He does the right thing at the right time and I’m delighted he’s between our sticks.”

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