Wenger on defeat, West Ham and Cech

Arsene Wenger faced the media after Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat against West Ham United. You can read a full transcript of his press conference below:

on the game…I think our performance was not convincing. On the two aspects of our game, going forward and defending. Overall we were punished. On top of that, I feel we gave two very cheap goals away and they were at the wrong moments - just before and after half-time with two minutes to go, and just after half-time. We gave ourselves a mountain to climb. West Ham looked a bit sharper than us, more advanced in preparation than us. In the end we wanted, but it was not convincing, not agile, not quick. Our passing was too slow and in the end we were punished.

on why it went wrong…West Ham are a bit more advanced in their preparation than us. They’ve played many competitive games in the Europa League. I knew before game it would be tricky game on that front. A big part of it was not to concede, even if we played for a 0-0. The way we conceded the goal just before half-time, with experience we have in our team, is difficult to understand.

on weight of expectation…I felt we were a bit nervous and we rushed our game a bit. We didn’t always respect the basics. We wanted to be too quick going forward in first half. I don’t think we were too confident, I would rather say too nervous maybe.

on Petr Cech…I haven’t spoken to him yet. I can’t see many individual convincing performances today so it’s difficult to single someone out.

on the goals…I [haven’t analysed it] yet, no.

on not being incisive up front…Our passing was not incisive enough. I bought Walcott on with 35 minutes to go and I had no time to bring him on. We conceded the second goal [before]. After that they defended deep and gained time - the usual thing you face when you play at home and are losing. I believe that we are maybe guilty at 0-0 of giving them a goal as soft as that.

on coming back from defeat…It’s difficult but it’s part of our job. A successful season is how you respond to disappointments and it’s never a clear motorway. We have to respond quickly. We have a tricky start. Crystal Palace are a very good team, Liverpool are a very good team, and you could see again today that we are not completely there physically.

on the goal…It was a collective one. I think there are many things to say about that. I knew that if the delivery was good, we would be in trouble before the free-kick was taken.

on conceding a set-piece…The concentration and the organisation was not perfect. Positionally we were too far from our goal and gave them too much distance to run into. We killed ourselves.

on Cech and organisation…Not only him. We have enough experience at the back. If you look at our back line, I think the youngest age is 30.

on transfers…I would like to think that we are responsible to buy the players and the coaches, not the media. When you’re a pro footballer, you have to face your responsibilities and not always look at something else. Today we have to look at ourselves and think we were not good enough and not to think that these kinds of things are solutions for us. We were not good enough, we were not convincing. And that’s basically it. West Ham played well. Congratulations to them and hopefully we can bounce back quickly. Again, I can only repeat what I already said. If an exceptional solution turns up, we’ll do it. But after a defeat like that, it’s important not always to think we take a solution from outside.

on Reece Oxford…He looked convincing but I need to watch it again. He did well. When we had the opportunities, our decision making was not always right, especially in the first half. We had made plenty of openings. Overall at 16 years of age it’s convincing what he did.

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