Wenger on loss, defence and consistency

Arsène Wenger spoke to the media after Arsenal’s 2-0 loss at Southampton on Thursday afternoon. Read on for a full transcript:

on the defeat… The regret is that we lost this game because it was a self-inflicted defeat. We had chances to win this game and when we were in control we made the mistakes in our final third that allowed them to win the game. It’s unfortunate but there was much more in this game than the 2-0 defeat. We gave a lot and their keeper kept them in the game. We made the mistakes at the back that basically meant we were punished.

on being comfortable at 0-0… We were comfortable compared to last year where we played 2-2. It was a game where we were thinking, ‘we will win this game’, but we paid for the lapses of focus in vital areas.

on why there were lapses in concentration… It’s difficult to find an obvious reason straight after the game. There was a misunderstanding and maybe the few games on the trot - we faded a lot at West Ham and we were not fresh enough today.

on Szczesny… I don’t want to talk about [him].

on Ospina…He will play on Sunday.

on Gardos potentially being sent off… Of course. I was surprised [there was not red card] but there were many people surprised by that. I think at that stage, I don’t know whether it was in the box or not, but it was a definite red card. It was one against one with the goalkeeper, so it was a definite red card. Only the referee will explain to you why he didn’t give it.

on the first goal… I don’t want to make too much of a case of it. It’s unfortunate. It was a misunderstanding with Koscielny at the start and afterwards they should have stayed on Mane and not let him take the ball and not run away from him. At least [one of them], maybe both [should have stayed with him].

on fielding a first-choice back five… It is always a concern when you give goals away.

on not winning three straight league games… I agree with you and every time we look like we could get on a run, we have a hiccup. We have to learn from that very quickly because we will need that.

on consistency… Today, more than the [league] positioning, it’s that it was a game that was winnable and we lost. That is my main concern today, more than fourth place because you need to be consistent defensively at the start.

on Podolski… Podolski was injured today. He had a tight groin.

on the reported transfer to Inter Milan… The first proposal was farcical. After, when they come back a bit more seriously, then you will see what happens now.

on whether it is inevitable… Inevitable? In the transfer window that’s very difficult to say but we’ll see what happens.

on whether Podolski would have started against Southampton… He was not available but he had a big chance to start.

on the fan who confronted him… He was a young boy and I think he was a Southampton fan. He was not arrested at all. I don’t think he said anything. It was not aggressive at all.

on Podolski playing against Hull City… I will make a few changes, that’s for sure, but he has not practiced for a few days - since our game at West Ham because of a tight groin so I don’t think he will be available for Sunday.

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