On missing Robin van Persie…
“I don’t think we missed anybody especially, no. We lost a game where we can only fault ourselves because we didn’t score, some players were not at their best and we gave a goal away on the only situation where Sunderland could score one today. It was on a set piece. I believe it’s more down to the fact that we made a big mistake on the corner because the game was there for the taking in the last 20 minutes. But of course, when you’re down, it makes it more difficult.”

On the penalty claim at the end of the match…
“Yes, but it’s difficult for us to get penalties, even the most obvious ones.”

On being eight points behind Chelsea…
“We have a game in hand. I didn’t expect them to drop points against Wolves at all. It’s very different when you have an international break and then play away from home. I feel there’s a massive difference. If we had played Sunderland at home today, we would have won the game.”

On the team feeling ‘slow’…
“Yes but it's a small worry. I believe that going forward especially we lacked sharpness and desire to go behind the defenders. We had chosen the easy part of the game, that is always come to the ball and not to be exposed then with our pace in behind. In football, if you want to score goals, you have to go behind the defenders.”

On if he felt comfortable at half-time…
“It depends how you feel comfortable. I feel comfortable when we lead 3-0. You also need to know that it is important not to make a mistake. I didn’t feel really under threat from Sunderland. If you look at what they created today you would be surprised. If you take a distance and you watch this game again, emotions away from the game, you will be surprised how little they created. But they took their chance because in some way they wanted it more than us.”

On next week’s game against Chelsea…
“It’s important to win our next game. That is in the Champions League. And to forget about Chelsea.”

On matching Sunderland’s aggression…
“You expect that. I have a little to be done because they tried more to destroy and we had more of the ball. So I think that they tried to stop us from playing, sometimes on the fringe of the rule, but that’s part of the game.”

On if he regretted not starting Arshavin…
“No. When he came on he was in there.”

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 21 Nov 2009