It Should've Been Over By Halftime - Wenger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger felt that the side should've tied the game up in the first half in the clash against Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend.
Heading to Wembley Stadium for the London derby, a goal from Harry Kane secured the points and the bragging rights minutes after the half time restart, but Wenger felt that having had the better of the first period, we should've already had a two or three goal lead and made life much more difficult for them.
As it was though as he spoke to the Official Site, he couldn't begrudge them victory in the second half based on their performance.
'Possession is basically 50/50 in this game. Firstly, I think the game should have been finished at half-time for me. We missed opportunities on counter-attacks that are not missable at our level, due to the final ball.'
Having had the better of the first half chances, Wenger knew Tottenham went on to create a number of their own in the second period.
'In the second half, we should have lost the game by more than one goal at the start. We were destabilised by the goal they scored and they had two or three more opportunities that they could have scored. In the final part of the game, we should have come back to 1-1. That maybe would not have been enough, but would be better than being 1-0 down. Overall, we`ve got mixed feelings because for long periods in the first half, with a bit more quality in our final pass, we would have won this game.'
With offside decisions going against us in the first period, Wenger was asked whether or not we were unlucky but he hadn't yet watched replays so he wouldn't be drawn.
'I haven`t seen it again. To me, it looked from outside that he was level, but afterwards is the boot in front or not? I will have to watch that on video. I don`t know.'
He also admitted he had no problems with Harry Kane appearing to foul Laurent Koscielny in the build up to his goal, as he had seen that on replay.
'I have no complaints. I thought that during the goal but I watched it again and it`s a regular goal. We can only look at ourselves on the goal.'
One positive he took from the game was the way we created chances, the disappointment was in our composure on those chances and he knew that required significant improvement.
'I believe that we had opportunities, dangerous situations that we didn`t transform into opportunities. That`s where my regret is, that in the final ball we missed something. When you have two or three opportunities like we had in the final part of the game, you want to take your chances in these kinds of games. You know you will not have 10 chances. If you don`t take them, you will suffer at the end of the day. To be at the level mentally is to be capable of using your opportunities. That`s what the top level is about.'
Away form this season also continued to be a cause of concern for him.
'It`s very poor. Once they had scored the goal, that maybe played a part in it. Football is about scoring goals. You can say, 'We are not strong enough when defending our goal`, but when you look at the numbers and compare them to the top six, we do not score enough goals away from home. These two weaknesses, one added to the other, explain it.'
As for the top four race and European qualification.
'It`s a game we couldn`t afford to lose, of course. That makes it much more difficult now but we have to fight for as long as we have a mathematical chance. There was more at stake than just the derby, I said that before the game. That`s why it`s so disappointing to lose the game in the way we lost it.'
'It`s too early, yes. Football is not about switching off for three games and then switching it on for one game. Manchester United decided that once they were in the semi-final. We are far from the semi-final and we have to fight to have a chance to come back. For me, it`s a very disappointing result because the priority has to be to get into the Champions League from the Premier League [top-four finish]. I`m not a great fan of qualifying through the Europa League because I don`t think it`s right. If it`s an opportunity, we`ll have to try to take it as well. The priority is still to be in the Premier League.'