By Mark Finlay

In his weekly write up, Sky Sports football pundit and former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher says that he can understand why Arsenal fans are frustrated with their manager but that he does not condone the abuse Wenger took in the railway station following the Gunners loss to Stoke City.

“I do not think that any manager really should be getting criticism on that scale. I understand that Arsenal fans get frustrated, they pay the highest season ticket and ticket prices in the league, so they would expect to see more than what they are seeing at the moment.But I think, especially for a manager who has achieved so much at the club, that overstepped the mark a bit to be honest. It was a bit over the top. But there is a frustration there and no one should have a job for life because of their past – I said that on Monday Night Football. I just think that, all in all, it is not a good thing when you see a manager getting that much criticism and it boiling over like that.But it shows the frustration and, as I said, the fans pay the highest prices and maybe that’s where it is coming from, as the fans are expecting to see a lot more than they are and they are obviously seeing the same sort of failings year in, year out.”

When asked about this weekend’s home match with Newcastle United the former England player said: ”It is a big game but it is at home, so it is the type of game that you would expect Arsenal to win. We know they struggle against the top side’s home and away – they have done for the last few years – and against teams like Stoke away from home, which everybody knows.”

“Newcastle are a team in form – they are doing really well under Alan Pardew, who was a manager under big, big pressure earlier on in the season, but who has turned it around brilliantly. But it is a game that you would expect Arsenal to win at the Emirates.”

When asked if he thought that Arsenal finishing second in their Champions’ League Group will hinder their chance of progress in February Carragher replied:
“Yes you would expect so. That has been the case now every year – Arsenal have come second, they get a tough game in the knockout stage and then they go out, and that has been a major problem for them.”

“On the other hand, they qualify every year, so you have to pat them on the back for that, but unfortunately they have given themselves a lot to do and they are not quite at the level of the teams they come up against.”

“You may get lucky and get a team who have finished first but are not at your level, but you would have to be very fortunate. And if you look at the teams who have finished top in their group, a lot of them are top sides, so you would imagine that they will get another tough game.”

When asked what he thought about Gunner signing Alexis Sanchez and how he has settled in the Premier League Carragher said:
“Hugely, and I am just disappointed that he was not at Liverpool! He has come in and been brilliant for the Premier League. Arsene Wenger mentioned recently that he was in the red zone and I think that he has played more minutes and games this season than probably anyone in the league.”

“But physically he looks like he can cope with the demands of the league. He was rested in midweek, and that is something Arsenal may have to look at as he has been a massive player for them and where would they be without him?