The fans made it very clear how unhappy they were with Tuesday’s result - whether they were in the stadium or watching around the globe.
And there was anger behind the scenes too. Arsene Wenger and the players were hit hard by that 2-1 defeat to Watford and this week has been spent working out what went wrong and how to put it right.
The need to respond - and avoid setbacks in the first place - was a popular topic at the manager’s pre-match press conference. Here’s what he said:
on if the players have to take more responsibility…
Of course, and the players know that. We try to prepare them as well as we can and I think we made a big effort to prepare well for Tuesday night, but subconsciously it wasn’t there. I must also say that we were punished by the fact that we were 2-0 down after 13 minutes. Everything went against us on the night. In the preparation on the night, I didn’t detect any lack of concentration from the players.
on whether the Watford game can be Arsenal’s wake-up call…
I didn’t feel that. It is an opportunity to have a wake-up call, but I didn’t feel we needed one, honestly.
on a tough run of fixtures…
Yes, but that’s competition. When you accept competition and you want to be at the highest levels, you have to accept you will have defining moments and defining games. If you don’t want that pressure, it is better that you don’t compete. It is working in an administration, every day there are careless ups and downs but we have accepted this job and the beauty of this job is that you can have highs, and that is what you want to focus on.
on whether he has prepared players differently..
I believe that first of all we want to recover from our disappointment and everybody knows inside the club that the team is healthy, united and has a desire to put things right straight away. On that front, everyone is focused on Saturday’s game.
on how much his job has been psychological this week…
It is mainly [psychological] because as you have to recover from the games, you have four days and it is mainly mental and tactical to prepare the team for tomorrow’s game.
on what the mood was like on Wednesday…
Of course [they were angry and upset], you are not at that level if you don’t care about winning or losing. These guys are highly concerned and highly disappointed when they don’t win. At our level it is really from winning, from the desire to win… and when you don’t we are of course frustrated and angry.
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