Wenger: 'Quality' Comolli being made a scapegoat

October 21, 2008
By Soccernet staff

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has insisted that under-fire Tottenham Hotspur sporting director Damien Comolli is being made a "scapegoat" for the club's terrible start to the season.

With Spurs four points adrift at the bottom of the table following their worst ever start to the season, Comolli has been blamed for £70million worth of signings that have left the club without a win in eight league games.

The biggest question mark hangs over his dealings during this summer's transfer window when both Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane departed the club with Roman Pavlyuchenko and Fraizer Campbell recruited as last minute replacements.

Comolli is widely expected to be sacked next week after Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy gave under-fire manager Juande Ramos a vote of confidence despite a 2-1 loss to newly promoted Stoke City at the weekend.

But Wenger, who recruited Comolli as one of his key European scouts at Arsenal before he headed to White Hart Lane, believes the finger of responsibility for Spurs' dire plight cannot be pointed at just one person.

Wenger said: "In every job there is always a culture of finding a scapegoat when things don't go well. We have to accept we're always guilty, even if not always responsible.

"In general you can only fight against that situation when you are united and I believe Damien is quality. I brought him here [to Arsenal] because I thought he was good.

"Tottenham, I think, has a good team, they have good players, and they will bounce back. The problem is when you are not doing well you are always attacked from the outside. What you can only do is to show a close, united attitude from inside to fight against that."

Asked if it was possible for the continental approach of a head coach working under a director responsible for recruiting players, rather than the unilateral managerial role Wenger enjoys at Arsenal, could work in England the Frenchman said: "I believe anything can work in football as long as the responsibilities are clear and accepted by everybody.

"In Tottenham's case I don't know how it works, but anything can work as long as people, when they sign their contracts, know clearly what their responsibilities are.

"You can't say now that the situation at Tottenham is down just to that. Football is a strange thing; when you lose confidence you can become quickly average, it is as simple as that."

Meanwhile, former Tottenham chairman Sir Alan Sugar has described the club's current predicament as ''a terrible situation'' but insists they should stand by manager Juande Ramos.

Sugar, who held a majority stake in Spurs from 1991 to 2001, told talkSPORT: ''Looking at the playing squad, in theory and on paper, there is no way we should go down.

''But you can never say never. It's a terrible situation at the moment; we just have to be patient. It's not like we don't have the players. We have a great squad. I keep saying it every game that it's got to come right.

''No-one is too big to go down. The table doesn't lie. You have to win games; it's as simple as that. Manchester United lose games on occasions. Arsenal lose games on occasions. Chelsea lose games on occasions. But we're losing them on too many occasions.

''It would be totally irresponsible at the moment to be talking in any terms about blaming any individuals, including the manager,'' Sugar added.

''The manager is no mug, he's achieved in the past. He's obviously a deep thinker and he's thinking about what he's got to do.''