Martin Keown reveals the time Arsene Wenger lost his cool in front of Arsenal players

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Arsene Wenger is not known to shy away on the touchline and has even been caught in touchline battles - most notably with Jose Mourinho - however, when confronting his players, it's a different matter.

While Sir Alex Ferguson was the creator of the famous 'hairdryer treatment' for his fiery half-time and post-match talks with his players, Wenger has not been known to be one who has lost his cool with his players in the dressing room.

Having a more gentle approach with his players has more than likely been beneficial in Wenger being able to celebrate 20 years at the Arsenal helm. Mourinho is the perfect example of a manager who has lost his job after losing some of his dressing room.


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However, Arsenal legend Martin Keown admits there was one occasion when the Frenchman lost his cool in the dressing room. And the former Gunners defender has revealed that the outburst didn't even follow a major defeat.

As reported by the London Evening Standard, Keown described the memorable moment which followed a 1-0 away defeat to Sunderland, on the opening day of the season.

“Wenger didn’t like to show his anger in front of the players, though I did see him lose it once when I was the first in the dressing room,” said Keown.

“It was the first game of the 2000-01 season and we lost 1-0 at the Stadium of Light through a lucky deflection, despite having about 30 shots on goal. After seeing all his pre-season preparation go down the drain like this, Wenger took aim at the plastic skip with our kit in, letting out a shriek as he kicked it!"


Former Arsenal striker Niall Quinn got the winning goal, while Patrick Vieira was sent off in the dying moments of the match, for a foul on Darren Williams.

But Wenger was so outraged with the outcome of events at the Stadium of Light, the Frenchman accused a Sunderland player of deliberately trying to get Vieira sent off, which Black Cats boss Peter Reid dismissed as "c***".

Positive impact

The Frenchman's out of character behaviour may have took Keown, and no doubt a few other Arsenal players, by surprise. However, Wenger clearly made the right impact on his team, as the Gunners went 11 game unbeaten, only for a late November dip, into the new year, to cost Wenger's men the title.

Manchester United won the 2000/01 title convincingly, by 10 points, with Wenger's Arsenal falling short, in second.

Does Arsene Wenger need to use a more fiery approach with his players at half time, in order to get the best out of his team? Have your say in the comment box below.

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