On the nature of the defeat…
“It’s very difficult. You can be very positive or very negative. We lost the game 4-1 which is a major disappointment but I feel going forward we had a very interesting game and created plenty of chances. That is never a 4-1 game, we should have been 2-0 up before they had a shot on goal. On the first free-kick we made a mistake and they scored. Today we missed seven or eight clear-cut chances and on every single mistake we made we were punished.”

On his side’s poor defending…

“It means our chances to come third are definitely over. The rest I don’t feel will have any other influence than that. We conceded four at Liverpool, three against Man United and four today. We have to improve the way we defend.

“You wouldn’t like to come out when you lose 4-1 and say ‘listen, we are going to buy four defenders’.  I believe we have quality defenders and it’s more a case of balancing the team defensively than the quality of our defenders. If you look at the second goal we could have done much better in midfield than at the back.”

On missing out on third place in the Premier League…
“We had a small opportunity to come third but three months ago everybody said we would finished tenth so I would have signed at that point to finish fourth. I don’t feel we have to be too disappointed with that but what is very disappointing for us is in the games that mattered in the last three or four weeks we couldn’t win. That’s where we have to analyse. But today there were a lot of positives in the game and we have to take a little distance from the defeat because it’s not a 4-1 game today.”

On dealing with two heavy home defeats in a week…

“It is difficult but this is a job for strong people. When you decide to live in a competitive world you have to deal with that – we cannot complain. It is a bit more difficult when you are young but when you are young you want to be challenged. That is a good opportunity to show we have the mental strength that is needed at this level.”

On the free-kick that led to the first goal…
“We live in a League now where the divers are rewarded. It’s not right but it is like that. I don’t think the free-kick should have been given but it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t win the header afterwards. I believe we must live in our job where the referee makes some decisions for you and some against. But defending consequently you should clear the ball on the cross.”

On watching his side miss chances…
“I still feel I was more worried in February when we were drawing 0-0 without creating a chance. Today I feel we created the chances and had an interesting game. When you see that in a team it’s always easier to correct what doesn’t work defensively; if you don’t create chances you are always more worried.”

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 10 May 2009