on a disappointing performance…

Yes, it was a disappointing performance. The competitive level of Stoke was higher than ours. I think we lost the game because Stoke defended much better than we did and with much more purpose.

on Arsenal’s inconsistency…

That’s the Premier League. If you do not turn up with the same competitive spirit in every game you can lose games everywhere. Stoke defend well and make it difficult for you. The most important thing here is not to be 1-0 down and with the first free kick we were 1-0 down. In a game like that, we did not penetrate enough. At the end of the day we were not dangerous enough.

on conceding another goal from a set-piece…

We [have] conceded, I think, 21 from set-pieces and only 17 in open play. Less than anybody else in open play [but] we have been caught on set-pieces. Today, [Kenwyne] Jones didn’t even need to jump to head the ball in. That is something we have to correct. It is the easiest thing to correct in the game but you still must understand the flight of the ball and want to be first to the ball. I feel we are sometimes a bit naïve.

on Arsenal’s season…

This team has done well overall this season. This is not the best moment to analyse [the season] after a disappointing game. If you analyse all the competitions and how we have done, we have done well. Something has gone [and] you could see that today. We have to take a distance and make the right analysis of the season.

on Thomas Vermaelen’s return to the squad…

I would love to have had him and maybe I can give him the last two games, I don’t know.

on going 1-0 behind…

I thought Stoke were more competitive than we were. Stoke are a good team. They have a lot of confidence. They have the FA Cup Final [next weekend] and maybe if they had to fight from 1-0 down it would have been different but from 1-0 up they didn’t have a lot to go for. They defended well and caught us on the break.

on Aaron Ramsey’s return to Britannia Stadium…

He did alright, he was not scared. But of course he is still short because he has not played enough games. [Substituting him] was just a tactical thing because we were 2-0 down and needed to go for more penetration. We had a lot of possession but not a lot of progression.

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 8 May 2011