Nor will it deter him from adopting his usual attacking approach. The details of August 28, 2011 are seared in Wenger’s mind. It was his worst defeat as Arsenal manager, the club’s worst in over a century. “With 24 minutes to go, it was 4-1,” he remembered. “
And I decided to go for an offensive, to try to come back with 10 men, and we were already dead. Maybe I should have kept it tight, but we wanted to give ourselves a chance to come back.
“They say a pessimist is a well-informed optimist. On the day I was badly informed. I always had hope. Honestly, it didn’t affect us. You feel humiliated after the game, but the next game, when you win, you don’t focus on that.”
Arsenal’s next fixture was a scrappy 1-0 home win against Swansea City.
Wenger insisted that the emotional scars healed quickly, and played down the significance of the result in footballing terms. “There is purely an emotional aspect in the 8-2, but there is no mathematical consequence,” he said.