Date: 20th December 2016 at 7:20am
Written by:

With manager Arsene Wenger’s thoughts on the performance of the referee well known from Sunday’s clash against Manchester City, here’s what else he had to say to the media in his post game press conference.

Travelling to the Etihad Stadium for the Premier League clash, Arsenal had the lead through Theo Walcott after five minutes of the game being played, but a second half comeback from the hosts saw them take the two one victory and all three points on the day.

The first goal clearly offside however much Gary Neville tried to fudge it in Sky’s commentary and the second goal with David Silva in an offside position just shows the stupidity of the ‘inactive’ interpretation applied to offsides thesedays as there’s no way Silva didn’t figure in Petr Cech’s thought process.

Wenger’s offside thoughts are available by – Clicking Here.

With that said though it was a very poor second half performance in particular from Arsenal, six chances overall and one on target but even then at one nil there were chances to double the advantage and we couldn’t even get them on target.

It’s difficult to blame the referee en-bloc when you can’t make much of a case for taking the three points to begin with.

Speaking to the Official Site in his more fullsome post game press conference with the media even Wenger had to admit they caught us cold in the second half and we dropped off and there were no excuses for that.

‘I felt we were in control and it didn`t look like we could lose the game. In the first half we stopped them from creating chances, they looked a little bit short of ideas to create chances, but they caught us cold in the second half. But as well we dropped physically in the second half. And when we won the ball we didn`t come out as clean as in the first half.’

Wit the scores tied minutes after the half time restart, he added.

‘We certainly gave them hope with the 1-1. We dropped a bit physically in the second half and maybe mentally as well when they equalised. After that we tried to come back in the last 20 minutes. We were a bit unlucky on one or two occasions but they killed the game well. They know they have experience, they slowed down, went down and it was difficult to create the chances. On top of all of that we conceded two offside goals, what is very difficult to accept in a game of that stature.’

With other results not going our way in the last seven days either – and letting a lead slip for the second time in five days, Wenger went on to admit that it had been an ‘absolutely horrible’ week for him and the club but all we could do was get it right and improve at the next time of asking as there’s no point feeling sorry for ourselves – nobody else will.

‘First of all, we`ve played many games. We`ve played four games away from home out of the last five. We had one day less recovery at Everton than everybody else. We played in Basel, we played against Stoke on Saturday, then we played at Everton on Tuesday night. I feel there are plenty of big teams who don`t play in Europe who could have played on Tuesday, and we could have played on Wednesday. I think it`s a bit the accumulation of games we`ve played recently, particularly away from home.’

With noticeable upset with goalkeeper Petr Cech at the end, Wenger explained it was frustration with his decision to play a short free kick instead of putting the ball into the box given how little time was left.

‘I was upset because I don`t see with 20 seconds to go why you would play a short free-kick when you could get the ball in the box. The referee took advantage of stopping the game on the first short pass, but he would have let the ball be played into the box. Why should we need to make a short pass? We know there`s a risk there that the referee takes advantage of it.’

With Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain coming on as a second half substitute and then being substituted himself, Wenger said he had picked up a knock but it was a case of fingers crossed it wouldn’t be too bad.

‘He`s injured. It looks like a hamstring – it`s a muscular problem.’

With a nine point gap to Chelsea now at the top of the table, the gaffer certainly wasn’t going to give up on closing that.

‘We have to come back next week and win our game. I think we`ve had an absolutely horrible week and what is worse is that out of two good performances, you get zero points. And out of two leading positions, we lost two games. That of course is very disappointing. Before we think about the nine points, we have to come back and be realistic. For a while we have not kept a clean sheet, and if you want to play at the top you have to keep clean sheets.’

Arsenal Blogger
Join The Vital Debate