Wenger's Watford Issues
Manager Arsene Wenger has been giving his thoughts following Arsenal's defeat to Watford this weekend.
Heading to Vicarage Road for the game on Saturday Arsenal looked reasonably comfortable for large parts of the game with Per Mertesacker giving us the advantage shortly before the half time break. With 20 minutes of the game remaining though, having spurned additional chances to build on the victory, Watford dispatched a penalty and then took all three points through Tom Cleverley's stoppage time effort.
Speaking to the Official Site as he met with the media for his post game press conference, the penalty award had clearly irked him.
'I would say it was not a penalty. It was a decision from the referee and that`s it. I don`t know. I don`t see any pre-conceived idea. I just think the decision is wrong and that`s it. It came at a moment in the game where it was absolutely important for Watford. If there was no penalty, there`d have been no goal.'
With Mesut Ozil missing a guilt edged chance before Watford went down the other end and won the penalty, it wasn't the only chance we had to double our advantage and Wenger went on to say.
'We should have scored, yes of course. It`s not the only major fact in the game. I thought we played very well in the first half but I was not so happy with the level in the second half. I think our level dropped in the second half and we missed many chances to kill the game with goal No 2 and goal No 3 - they should have been scored. After that, at 1-1, there was no need to panic. I believe that on the second goal we can only look at ourselves.'
Wenger admitted the international break hadn't helped but he knew that couldn't be an excuse as the chances were there to have killed the game off.
'It is, but if you look well at the game today, I think with a bit more killer instinct in front of goal, we should have won the game. That`s where we are guilty. The decision on the penalty we have no impact on at all. Not everybody is at the same level physically, that`s for sure, but I feel despite that, we should have won the game.'
With Manchester City now having a nine point lead, Wenger knew it would be difficult but the battle was far from over.
'It will be difficult, of course. At the moment we are not looking too much at Man City, we are looking at ourselves. We have to bounce back from our disappointment today. We look like we can make results when we play our game like we did in the first half. But we need to be at the level like that for 90 minutes.'
In a secondary interview Wenger spoke more about the penalty where his frustration was even more clear.
'The penalty? It was never a penalty. It`s unbelievable to lose a game because of that. It`s unbelievably hard to take because we had the opportunity to win the game. We played very well in the first half and in the second half we dropped our level a little bit. Physically we were not at the same level and on top of that we missed chances to score the second goal. After that we were punished by a bad refereeing decision. There`s a lot to swallow tonight and a lot to be really disappointed about.'
With injuries to Danny Welbeck and Laurent Koscielny causing their substitutions in the match, Wenger ended by saying.
'It looks to be a hamstring with Welbeck. I don`t really know because everybody is shocked in the dressing room about the result. It looks a muscular problem. Koscielny is a muscular problem as well.'