The Arsenal manager poked fun at the haters who think he got off lightly with a four-match ban for pushing a fourth official and slammed the critics of his team’s season so far.
“To those who don’t like me, any sentence will be too lenient,” said Wenger, who watched this victory from the stands.
“They would like to put me in jail somewhere without any heating in the middle of winter – and that will still be lenient.”
He pointed out that his team have still lost only two Premier League games and won their Champions League group.
Arsenal ran riot against Southampton on Saturday night
Danny Welbeck celebrates first Arsenal goals after injury
Sat, January 28, 2017
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Arsene Wenger watched his team hit Southampton for five from the stands
“I think today you’re always questioned first of all, so you have to accept and live with that. The test is the number of goals we scored in the last five minutes and the number of people who had an impact coming on. And the united feeling when you watch our team, that is for me a very important quality.
“What is at stake is to be consistent. We were very consistent, because 20 unbeaten games in the Champions League and Championship and then in four days, boom boom – against [Manchester] City and Everton we lost two games, twice while leading. I believe that we live in a world of small margins everywhere and in football as well, and so if you’re just a fraction off you pay for it.”
But Wenger was pleased by Danny Welbeck’s first start since re-injuring his knee at the Etihad Stadium last May, marked by two first-half goals and an assist for the first goal of Theo Walcott’s hat-trick.
“It feels like I have many new strikers because I think [Lucas] Perez played very well as well and I left Giroud ill at home,” said Wenger.
Theo Walcott scored a hat-trick against his old club
“The problem will now be to find the right combination which will use them well in games. When you look around you on the bench and you have this kind of player coming on or when he starts, somebody else, he gives us more quality going forward.”
Defender Florin Gardos was one of the few in the Saints camp able to look back on the evening with any satisfaction, mainly because he had completed 90 minutes in his first start since a knee injury in February 2015.
“We had a lot of younger players but it was good experience for everyone, for me and the young boys,” he said.
“I think it proves that the Academy keeps giving good youth players and they did well even though the result wasn’t what we wanted. They have to learn that you have got to keep going because things like that can happen.”