Wenger Disappointed With Stoke Defeat
Manager Arsene Wenger has admitted you can't make a costly defensive error like we did against Stoke City at the weekend and not expect to be punished in the Premier League.
Travelling to Stoke for the game on Saturday, Arsenal lost out one nil on the day despite dominating possession and having greater chances and for many it was the kind of game that fans are becoming accustomed to in recent years.
Speaking to the Official Site as he met with the media following the game, Wenger's frustration was clear both with the defensive lapse, and also our wastefulness in front of goal.
'We are very frustrated because we lost a game that we should have won and that's terrible to swallow. We had plenty of chances and on top of that, not only did we not finish, but we gave them an easy goal to score, just after half time. We knew at half-time it was very important to keep our defensive focus in this kind of game, then we came out and didn't defend properly. That's where we are not forgivable today. At the end of the day I believe when you are not concentrating on the way you want to play, you pay for it at that level. At the end of the day we had 80 per cent possession and we lost the game, away from home.'
With troubles up front in terms of our attacking play, he added.
'Yes, I think sometimes our final ball was not good. Our focus to give the ball was not right and overall we should have done much better in our finishing.'
Alexandre Lacazette did have a goal disallowed on the day and Wenger wasn't too pleased with that.
'It was a goal, it's as simple as that.'
Wenger did know we had to remain positive going forward though.
'It is vital to not only see the negative side of it and to respond very quickly in the next game. But in the Premier League you do not get away with defending like we did on the goal. We have to realise as well, that if we want to transform the energy we put into the game as well like that, you have to defend properly, every single minute.'
Wenger also said in a secondary interview from the press conference.
'It`s the kind of the night where you are angry because not only did we not score with the number of chances we had, we made stupid mistakes centrally. First by losing the ball and then afterwards we didn`t defend properly for the goal. On top of that, I think we were unlucky with some of the referee`s decisions because we scored a regular goal.'
Having now re-watched the disallowed goal.
'One hundred per cent. I`ve just watched it and it`s not offside at all. Even his foot was not offside. We have to swallow that and we should have scored despite that. I think it`s just another detail that didn`t go our way. I believe that we lost three big points today. Other teams might take points here that we have dropped today. In football, when you don`t win, you can only look at yourself.'
Clearly he knew improvements had to be made defensively when you factored in the goals we conceded against Leicester as well.
'Last week we conceded two goals on corners. They only had three shots on goal, so I don`t feel that we defended that badly. On set-pieces, yes. Today I would say that we can look at ourselves and we are 100 per cent guilty on the goal we conceded.'