Date: 14th December 2016 at 7:22am
Written by:

Manager Arsene Wenger has said that Arsenal simply have to look at themselves following yesterday evening’s defeat to Everton.

Making the trip to Goodison Park to face off against Ronald Koeman’s side, Arsenal took the lead 20 minutes into the game through Alexis Sanchez, but with Everton getting the leveller just ahead of the half time break it seemed to rock everyone and second half was a far more open affair – and the hosts got the breakthrough six minutes from full time.

Even going down to ten men with Phil Jagielka’s sending off wasn’t enough to get us back into the match.

Speaking to the Official Site in his post game press conference after the two one defeat, a disappointed Wenger explained that he had a number of issues from the game and our performance, and one of those that stood out was the corner in the build up to their winner – however he more than accepted our defending in that moment was far from perfect.

‘Of course, it was not a corner – you see it from outside that it was not a corner. But I think we have to live with the wrong decision and it doesn`t explain why we do not head the ball after you know. But I am really disappointed because Clattenburg was in a really good position to see that they headed the ball on and it`s not the first time we are unlucky with this decision this season. Overall, I do not want to speak about the referee too much, it`s not my problem.’

Asked directly if the players allowed the game to get away, Wenger refuted that in one sense, whilst on the other saying we cost ourselves.

‘No, I think we have to look at ourselves. We lost the game because I feel we started well and after that maybe we lost a bit of urgency because we were a bit too comfortable and then Everton made it very physical. Overall, I believe that from then on it disturbed our game and we created less flow going forward. In the end, we unfortunately didn`t take our chances or two. We didn`t create too many but we had clear-cut chances in the game that we didn`t take. After that you can be caught away from home on a corner like that.’

With the 14 game unbeaten run ended, the gaffer obviously accepted that lessons had to be learnt from this one as whilst losses in football happen, ultimately you don’t want to lose games to things you should already be doing better – but he also pointed to our fixture list for being less than our normal selves.

‘We have been nine months unbeaten away from home so you have to take that a little bit with a distance as well. You can lose football games, especially in an atmosphere like that and especially as well when you play so many games. We played five of the six games away from home, we had to play the Champions League on Tuesday, we had a difficult game on Saturday. We have to come here straight away again on Tuesday, I think Champions League teams have a little bit of a more difficult schedule.’

Adding that he didn’t feel the atmosphere played a meaningful part in the defeat or the reduced performance.

‘No, no. We were a little bit less fresh you know, but maybe as well we lost a bit of urgency when we were 1-0 up and perfectly in control of the game. We thought ‘Okay` and we started to lose some balls that gave Everton some hope. But overall, no. We are used to playing, you know when you play nine months away from home unbeaten you have that nearly every week.’

There was some repetition in the press conference with what he was asked, but he also explained about the game.

‘We started well and were in control of the game. After that we lost a bit of urgency and Everton made the game very physical. From that moment on we lost some goals we are not used to losing. They disturbed our game really, they played a real cup game and at the end of the day we lost on two headers from two defenders. I believe it`s frustrating to lose with five minutes to go on a header like that and the first goal was a header as well. You could expect Lukaku to score a goal against us but not the way we conceded two goals here.’

Adding about losing a grip on the match given our earlier control of it.

‘We did. In football you have to defend well. We knew exactly what was happening and the first goal is exactly what we planned not to do. We have to look at ourselves tonight because we punished ourselves by not respecting completely the rules that we put out the night before we played.’

He also confirmed that he felt we deserved a penalty on the day but again overly moaning about refereeing decisions at full time doesn’t change anything, so he wants all focus on the next match now instead – which is of course Manchester City.

‘We have to recover. We play five games away from home out of six and we have a fantastic away record. We want to keep that strength and prepare well for the next one.’

Arsenal Blogger
Join The Vital Debate