On the performance…
“The performance was not good but it was the kind of game where you can win 1-0. Could we have lost the game in the first half? Yes. But we lost it today when we should not have lost it anymore. At that moment we were closer to winning it. It was the kind of game where you cannot afford a mistake at the back and I believe we were punished because of that.”

On conceding controversial goals…
“We were a bit unlucky as well on the first goal because we have Bacary Sagna who is down after getting injured. I believe as well for the second goal there was a blatant foul on Carlos Vela on the edge of their box. Instead of having a chance to play 1-1 we are then 2-0 down.

“The referee could have stopped the play but I don’t complain because of that. We scored an own goal, Villa didn’t score the goal.“

On the Jekyll and Hyde performances this week and last week…
“That is football, how can you explain the performance of Villa last week against Middlesbrough and the performance they produced today? It is the same. Top level performance is consistency. At the moment we are not consistent enough to be produce that kind of performance week-in week-out.

“You have to accept that the game is played by human beings and sometimes physically they have a drop. It is very difficult for us to have a rational explanation about what happened today. I believe that the team want it but it was just like a few other times this year where it is unexplainable why we don’t really play at our 100% potential.”

On what the defeat means to his side’s title aspirations…
“I don’t believe that you can speak about champions or not champions. If you want to be champions you want to be consistent and at the moment we are not.

“I do not want to go on definite solutions or headlines. I just think that despite the fact that we were not at our best, this game was winnable. We lost it at a moment when we should not have lost it anymore. Had we lost it in the first half, ok ‘bye-bye’ they had their day and they won. But we lost this game today from the moment when we shouldn’t lost it anymore.”

On deserving defeat…
“How many times was I in press conferences where I thought that we deserved to win the game but we lost and everybody finds it absolutely normal. I say Villa played well and they deserved to win but we lost the game from the moment when we were slowly getting on top of them. That is the kind of game where you cannot afford to make mistakes defensively. We were not sharp and they were never in the situation where they had to come out.

“When we made the changes it was 0-0 and we lost 0-2. You can make all kinds of explanations but as a team we were not sharp”

On Villa breaking into the top four…
“I don’t want to talk about Villa because I don’t know them very well. Today they played very well but I saw the game against Middlesbrough on tape and they could have lost six or seven so it is very difficult for me to assess. They have a big potential if you look at the performance today.”

On the side’s inexperience costing them…
“Maybe I don’t know. At the back it could be explained but upfront a little bit less.

“Yes we had a very young midfield but we played against more experienced midfielders. Any midfield in the league is more experienced than ours but it doesn’t stop us from dominating them.”

On Sagna’s injury…
“Yes it is serious. He will be out for a few weeks; he has an injured ankle.”

On January signings…
“It is too early. We are mid November we have to see where we are at the end of December. Anyway at the moment to speculate about transfers it won’t help.”

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 15 Nov 2008